Adani drops to seventh place in billionaires index amid $51bn stock rout

Shares in Adani Group companies took a hit following Hindenburg Research report

The two day sell off wiped $51 billion of the market value of Gautam Adani’s companies. AFP
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A two-day stock rout started by a New York short seller's accusations led to the man who was once Asia's richest dropping to seventh place globally in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The two-day sell-off wiped $51 billion of the market value of Gautam Adani’s companies. He remains India's richest man.

In a report on January 24, the US investor Hindenburg Research said key listed Adani Group companies had “substantial debt”, putting the conglomerate on a “precarious financial footing”, and that “sky-high valuations” had pushed the share prices of seven listed Adani companies as much as 85 per cent beyond their actual value.

However, the group dismissed the accusations in the report.

On Thursday, Jatin Jalundhwala, the head of the Adani Group’s legal department, said the group is considering legal action against Hindenburg Research.

“We are evaluating the relevant provisions under US and Indian laws for remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research,” Mr Jalundhwala said.

He referred to the short seller's allegations as “maliciously mischievous, unresearched”.

“The volatility in Indian stock markets created by the report is of great concern and has led to unwanted anguish for Indian citizens,” he said.

Adani Group chief financial officer Jugeshinder Singh also dismissed Hindenburg Research's allegations and described them as “a malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations”.

Adani Group has interests in a number of sectors including ports, energy and media. It has been rapidly expanding its operations globally.

Last month, it took control of India's New Delhi Television after the founders decided to sell most of their shares to a firm controlled by the group.

In August, Adani Ports signed a preliminary agreement with AD Ports Group, the operator of industrial cities and free zones in Abu Dhabi, to explore joint investment opportunities in Tanzania.

Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Company completed a Dh7.3 billion deal to invest in three green-focused companies of the Adani Group including Adani Green Energy, Adani Transmission and Adani Enterprises.

IHC is currently “evaluating the opportunity” to bid for Adani Enterprises' 200 billion rupees ($2.45 billion) follow-on sale of shares that began Wednesday, it said.

Updated: January 28, 2023, 8:56 AM