Embattled Indian tycoon Gautam Adani’s net worth has dropped below $50 billion for the first time since March 2021, as the stock rout in his eponymous group of companies continued overnight.
The Adani Group chairman now has a net worth of $46.1 billion, after shedding another $2.98 billion from his personal fortune on Tuesday, a sharp drop from the peak of his wealth of $150 billion in September last year.
He is now the world’s 27th-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The self-made billionaire, 60, has seen $74.5 billion wiped from his personal fortune since January 24, when US short-seller Hindenburg Research accused companies owned by the billionaire of “brazen” market manipulation and accounting fraud.
Watch: How India's Gautam Adani lost title as Asia's richest man
In its report, Hindenburg Research alleged accounting fraud, improper use of offshore tax havens and stock manipulation by Mr Adani, triggering a sharp fall in his companies' share prices and wiping about $138 billion from the group’s market value.
The combined equity market value of the Adani Group’s 10 companies fell below $100 billion on Tuesday, as the ports-to-power conglomerate continues to struggle to reassure investors following Hindenburg’s scathing report, Bloomberg reported.
Mr Adani has repeatedly denied the accusations and has hired legal and communication teams, cut expenses and repaid debt as the conglomerate seeks to calm traders concerned about the group’s access to financing, Bloomberg said.
On February 10, Moody’s Investors Service changed its ratings outlook for four Adani Group companies.
The adjustment came after index provider MSCI said it would reduce the weightings of four of his businesses in its indexes after a review of the number of shares that are freely traded.
The rating agency said it changed its outlook on the Adani companies after their “significant and rapid decline” in market value following the Hindenburg report.
Mr Adani was one of the biggest wealth gainers in 2022, adding $42.2 billion to his net worth and overtaking Bill Gates and Warren Buffett on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The tycoon started climbing the ranks of the world’s richest in April last year, when shares in his listed companies rocketed.
He ended 2022 as the world’s third-richest person with a fortune of $119 billion.
Mr Adani, a first-generation entrepreneur who began his career as a diamond trader in Mumbai in the 1980s, helped to run his brother’s plastics business in his home state of Gujarat before setting up Adani Enterprises — the group’s flagship company — as an agricultural commodities trader in 1988.