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Hindenburg on Adani's 413-page rebuttal: Cannot obfuscate by nationalism

The Adani Group has not even attempted to clarify its relationship with a Chinese National (Chang Chung-Ling), despite a plethora of linkages, Hindenburg Research has said

January 30, 2023 / 10:26 AM IST
Gautam Adani, Chairperson of Adani Group.

Gautam Adani, Chairperson of Adani Group.

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The Hindenburg Research on January 30 described as an "attempt to obfuscate by nationalism" the Adani Group's 413-page rebuttal to its accusations of stock manipulation and use of tax havens in a report that also flagged debt worries.

"The Adani Group has not even attempted to clarify its relationship with a Chinese National (Chang Chung-Ling), despite a plethora of linkages," the US-based short seller said.

In its latest statement, Hindenburg Research said that the Adani Group did not respond to questions in its original report, pointing out one on the nature of relationship between Vinod Adani,  Gautam Adani's older brother, and Chang Chung-Ling, nor the group's association with the Chinese national.

It alleged that its report had shown in one example how an entity that had been an Adani-related party made a major investment in one of the suspect offshore holders, "drawing a clear line between the Adani Group and the suspected stock parking entities", it said.

Also Read | MSCI seeks feedback on Adani Group over Hindenburg report

"We also showed how several of the suspected stock parking entities had been formed with the help of Amicorp, which was involved in one of the most notorious international fraud and money laundering scandals in history, the 1MDB scandal. We also note that the recent Follow On Public Offer (FPO) in Adani Enterprises contains many of the same type of Mauritius funds that we pointed out as likely being in clear violation of SEBI regulations," the statement alleged.

It also gave an example of the anchor list of Adani Enterprises investors, alleging that it "contains a host of suspect Mauritius funds — such as (1) Ayushmat Limited (2) Coeus Global Opportunities Fund (3) Great International Tusker Fund and (4) Aviator Global Investment."

Adani's rebuttal

Adani Group's 413-page rebuttal came as its flagship company, Adani Enterprises, pushes ahead with a $2.5 billion share sale. This has been overshadowed by Hindenburg's report, which flagged concerns about debt levels and the use of tax havens.

"This is rife with conflict of interest and intended only to create a false market in securities to enable Hindenburg, an admitted short seller, to book massive financial gain through wrongful means at the cost of countless investors," it added.

“This is not merely an unwarranted attack on any specific company but a calculated attack on India, the independence, integrity and quality of Indian institutions, and the growth story and ambition of India,” Adani said in its response.

Also Read | SEBI increases scrutiny of Adani group: Reuters report

Market impact

After the Hindenburg report came to light, Adani Enterprises' share price tanked 20 percent in between January 23 to 27.

The stock seems to have gained some footing after Adani Group chief financial officer Jugeshinder Singh panned allegations made by Hindenburg Research and said the follow-on public offer (FPO) of flagship Adani Enterprises will continue as scheduled.

On January 30, Adani Enterprises' stock gained 10 percent. At 9.43 am it was quoting at Rs 2,966.30, up Rs 204.15, or 7.39 percent. It has touched an intraday high of Rs 3,038.35 and an intraday low of Rs 2,771.05.

Singh attacked Hindenburg's report, calling it a malicious misrepresentation of facts, adding that the US short-seller deliberately used only part of the group’s disclosures to make misleading points.
Hindenburg Research said on January 25 it was holding short positions in the Adani Group companies through US-traded bonds and non-Indian-traded derivative instruments.

The report, and its fallout, is being seen as one of the biggest career challenges to face the billionaire Gautam Adani, whose business interests range from ports, airports, mining and power to media and cement. It sparked a rout in all Adani Group-related companies' stocks and sharpened regulatory watch over them.

(with agency inputs)

Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 30, 2023 09:14 am