MUMBAI, Feb 3, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - Shares in the flagship firm of beleaguered
Indian tycoon Gautam Adani were repeatedly suspended on Friday as a rout
triggered by allegations of accounting fraud deepened.
Adani Enterprises fell 10 percent at the open, while Adani Power, Adani Green
Energy, Adani Total Gas -- in which French giant TotalEnergies has a 37.4
percent stake -- and Adani Transmission were also suspended when they hit
their trading stops.
Trading in Adani Enterprises later resumed, only for them to immediately fall
another five percent, triggering another halt.
The conglomerate's combined market capitalisation has plummeted by more than
$100 billion since US short-seller Hindenburg Research -- which makes money
by betting on shares falling -- released an explosive report last week.
Adani himself has seen his fortune plummet by tens of billions of dollars,
dumping him out of the real-times Forbes rich list top 10 and depriving him
of his title as Asia's richest person.
Adani late Wednesday cancelled a $2.5-billion stock sale meant to help reduce
debt levels -- long a concern -- restore confidence and broaden its
Big banks including Credit Suisse and Citigroup have stopped accepting Adani
bonds as collateral for loans to private clients, according to Bloomberg
That fuelled worries about how Adani will raise fresh funds, with Adani
dollar bonds trading at distressed levels and signs of contagion in Indian
markets increasing, Bloomberg reported.
According to Hindenburg Research, Adani has artificially boosted the share
prices of its units by funnelling money into the stocks through offshore tax
This "brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme" is "the largest
con in corporate history", Hindenburg said.
Adani said it was the victim of a "maliciously mischievous" reputational
attack and issued a 413-page statement on Sunday that it asserted showed
Hindenburg's claims were "nothing but a lie".
Hindenburg said in response that Adani failed to answer most of the questions
raised in its report.
Critics say Adani's closeness to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also from
Gujarat state, has helped him win business and avoid proper oversight.