India’s market regulator is looking into the explosive allegations against Adani Group made by US short seller Hindenburg Research, which accused the conglomerate of “the largest con in corporate history.”
The claims, published in late January, set off a crash in the company’s market value and robbed its owner Gautam Adani of his title as Asia’s richest man, as a 400-page rebuttal by the conglomerate failed to reassure investors.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is “enquiring into both the allegations made in the Hindenburg report as well as the market activity immediately preceding and post the publication of the report, to identify violations of SEBI regulations,” the regulator said in a filing to India’s supreme court seen by CNN.
“As the matter is in early stages of examination, it may not be appropriate to list details about the ongoing proceedings at this stage,” it added.
Adani Group did not respond to a CNN request for comment on the inquiry on Tuesday. But on Monday, a spokesperson provided a statement in response to a report by Bloomberg that said the company had halved its revenue growth target for the next financial year and planned to hold off on fresh capital expenditure.
The balance sheet of each of its independent portfolio companies is “very healthy” and “our business plan is fully funded,” the spokesperson told CNN. “We are confident in the continued ability of our portfolio to deliver superior returns to shareholders.”
The spokesperson noted that, once the current market turbulence has abated, each entity would review its own capital market strategy.
On Tuesday, shares of many of the listed firms controlled by the conglomerate slid again in Mumbai. Although Adani Enterprises rose 1.9%, there were 5% falls in the stocks of Adani Transmission, Adani Total Gas, Adani Power and Adani Total.
— Juliana Liu and Julia Horowitz contributed reporting.