Gautam Adani, India’s richest man and the third wealthiest in the world, has suffered a significant wealth drop this month following the release of a bombshell report by an activist investment firm. The report accused Adani's company, Adani Group, of “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme worth US$218 billion”. The public battle between the Adani Group and Hindenburg Research has since escalated, with Adani Group’s Chief Financial Officer, Jugeshinder Singh, calling the report a “malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations”.
Adani Group’s rebuttal was a 413-page document, in which it portrayed the US short seller’s report as an “attack” on India and its investors. Adani Group also denied any wrongdoing and accused Hindenburg Research of using “nationalistic ties to avoid addressing serious issues”.
Just days after the report was released, Adani Group had lost over US$50 billion in market value and Adani had seen his wealth fall from the third wealthiest in the world to the seventh. In addition, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has emerged as one of the biggest losers, with its shareholding in Adani Group companies multiplying 10 times since September 2020.
Hindenburg Research has accused Adani Group of artificially boosting the share prices of its firms over several decades by using a network of overseas shell companies linked to Adani’s family members. It argued that Adani’s companies were collectively overvalued on India’s stock market by more than 80 percent.
Hindenburg Research has since responded to the Adani statement, denying any wrongdoing and claiming that the Indian conglomerate was using patriotic ties to avoid addressing serious issues. It said that Adani’s rebuttal ignored all its key allegations and was “obfuscated by nationalism”, and that it “failed to specifically answer 62 of Hindenburg’s 88 questions”.
Adani Group has now released a statement saying that it is considering legal action against Hindenburg Research for its “unresearched report”, which it claims has created “volatility in Indian stock markets” and “unwanted anguish for Indian citizens”.
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