Gautam Adani's net worth slips below $40 billion

The Adani Group chairman is now the world's 30th-richest person as a stock rout continues to erase the market value of his companies

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani has seen $80.6 billion wiped from his personal fortune this year. Reuters
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Embattled Indian business tycoon Gautam Adani's net worth has fallen to $39.9 billion, as the market value of the Adani group of companies continues to fall in the aftermath of a scathing report by US short-seller Hindenburg Research.

On Friday, the Adani Group chairman shed another $1.59 billion from his net worth and is now the 30th-wealthiest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The former centibillionaire's current net worth is a sharp drop from the peak of his wealth of nearly $150 billion last September, when he briefly overtook Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world's second-richest person.

Watch: How India's Gautam Adani lost title as Asia's richest man

How India's Gautam Adani lost title as Asia's richest man

How India's Gautam Adani lost title as Asia's richest man

On Wednesday, Mr Adani's wealth slipped below $50 billion for the first time since March 2021.

The self-made billionaire, 60, has seen $80.6 billion, or 66.9 per cent, wiped from his personal fortune since January 24, when Hindenburg Research accused companies owned by the billionaire of “brazen” market manipulation and accounting fraud.

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.

The combined market value of the Adani Group’s 10 companies has slumped by about $146 billion, as the ports-to-power conglomerate, which spans from India to Africa and Australia, continues to struggle to reassure investors following Hindenburg Research’s report.

Mr Adani has repeatedly denied Hindburg Research's 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 reported this week.

Earlier this month, 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 centibillionaires such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

World's richest people in 2022 — in pictures

The tycoon started to climb 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 is a first-generation entrepreneur who began his career as a diamond trader in Mumbai in the 1980s.

He 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.

Updated: June 21, 2023, 11:55 AM