Adani vs Hindenburg: Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Dr V Anantha Nageswaran on Tuesday refused to comment on concerns raised about the Adani Group, which has been accused of stock manipulation and accounting fraud by a US-based short seller Hindenburg Research.
"We don't look at just one corporate in the (Economic) Survey," the CEA said while replying to a question on one of the country's biggest conglomerates. "What happens in one corporate is between the corporate and the market regulators," Nageswaran said soon after giving a presentation on the Economic Survey 2022-23.
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On January 24, Hindenburg Research came out with a damning report on the group leveling some serious charges like stock manipulation, trading via offshore entities, and money laundering through Adani's private companies onto the listed companies' balance sheets in order to maintain the appearance of financial health and solvency.
Adani denied all the charges and said the research was done to damage the Follow-on Public Offering from Adani Enterprises, the biggest FPO ever in India.
A day later, the group led by Asia's richest man, Gautam Adani, said it was evaluating the relevant provisions under the US and Indian laws for remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research. The research fund dared the group to file the case in the US.
On 29 January, Adani Group released a detailed response in the 413-page report saying Hindenburg's conduct was nothing short of a calculated securities fraud under applicable law. It said the report had been put out with the admitted intent of Hindenburg to profiteer at the cost of the company's shareholders and public investors.
"Hindenburg has not published this report for any altruistic reasons but purely out of selfish motives and in flagrant breach of applicable securities and foreign exchange laws," it said.
While Adani vehemently rejected all the charges, the report did affect the group as the shares of its several group companies plunged. On Tuesday, four stocks slipped to their lower price bands and two touched one-year low levels.
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