- Market rout intensifies in Indian tycoon Adani’s shares
- Adani Enterprises sheds $26 bln in value since the report
- Falls after Adani pulled share sale, investors unnerved
- Analysts say signals a confidence crisis in Indian market
Adani’s market losses increased above $100 billion on Thursday, triggering worries about a potential systemic impact a day after the Indian group’s flagship firm called off its $2.5 billion stock offering.
The surprise withdrawal of Adani Enterprises’ (ADEL.NS) share sale represents a huge setback for founder Gautam Adani, the school dropout-turned-billionaire whose fortunes grew rapidly in recent years but have fallen in just a week after a negative research report by U.S.-based short-seller Hindenburg Research.
Abandoning the share sale sent shockwaves across markets, businesses, and politics. Adani stocks tumbled, opposition lawmakers called for an extensive investigation and India’s central bank sprang into action to check on the exposure of banks to the group. Meanwhile, Citigroup’s (C.N) wealth unit ceased making margin loans to clients against Adani Group securities.
The crisis represents a dramatic turn of fortune for Adani, who has in recent years built partnerships with foreign titans such as France’s TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) and brought in investors such as Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Company as he seeks a global expansion stretching from ports to the power sector.
In a surprise move late on Wednesday, Adani abandoned the share sale as a stocks rout triggered by Hindenburg’s criticisms deepened, despite it being fully subscribed the previous day.
“Adani may have started a confidence crisis in Indian shares and that could have broader market implications,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at Swissquote Bank.
Adani Enterprises shares plunged 27% on Thursday, closing at their lowest level since March last year.
Other group companies also fell further behind, with 10% losses at Adani Green Energy (ADNA.NS), Adani Total Gas (ADAG.NS), and Adani Transmission (ADAI.NS), while Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSE.NS) lost almost 7%.
Since Hindenburg’s report on Jan. 24, group companies have lost almost 50% of their combined market value. Adani Enterprises – labeled an incubator of Adani’s businesses – has shed $26 billion in market capitalization.
Adani is also no longer Asia’s wealthiest person, having fallen to 16th in the Forbes rankings of the world’s richest people, with his net worth almost halved to $64.6 billion in a week.
The 60-year-old had been third on the list, outranked by billionaires Elon Musk and Bernard Arnault.
His rival Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries (RELI.NS) is now Asia’s wealthiest person.
Adani’s plunging stock and bond prices have sparked concerns about the prospect of a wider impact on India’s financial system. India’s central bank has requested local banks to provide details of their exposure to the Adani Group, government and banking sources told Reuters on Thursday.
CLSA determines that Indian banks were exposed to nearly 40% of the $24.5 billion of Adani Group debt in the fiscal year to March 2022.
Dollar bonds issued by entities of Adani Group extended losses on Thursday, with notes of Adani Green Energy Ltd (ADNA.NS) falling to a record low. Adani Group entities made due coupon payments on outstanding U.S. dollar-denominated bonds on Thursday, Reuters reported mentioning sources.
“We see the market is losing confidence on how to gauge where the bottom can be and although there will be short-covering rebounds, we expect more fundamental downside risks given more private banks (are) likely to cut or reduce margin,” said Monica Hsiao, chief investment officer of Hong Kong-based credit fund Triada Capital.
In New Delhi, opposition lawmakers put forward notices in parliament calling for discussion of the short-seller’s report.
The Congress Party requested a Joint Parliamentary Committee be set up or a Supreme Court-monitored probe, while several lawmakers shouted anti-Adani slogans inside parliament, which was adjourned for the day.Buy Bitcoin Now
Adani Vs Hindenburg
Adani made acquisitions worth $13.8 billion last year, according to Dealogic data, its highest ever and more than double the prior year.
The called-off fundraising was crucial for Adani, which had said it would use $1.33 billion to fund airports facilities, Greenfield expressways, and green hydrogen projects, and $508 million to pay off debt at some units.
Hindenburg’s report alleged wrongful use of offshore tax havens and stock manipulation by the Adani Group. It also expressed concerns about high debt and the valuations of seven listed Adani companies.
The Adani Group has disproved the allegations, saying the accusation of stock manipulation had “no basis” and originated from an ignorance of Indian law. It said it has always made the required regulatory disclosures.
Adani had been able to obtain share sale subscriptions on January 31 even though the stock’s market price was lower than the issue’s offer price. Maybank Securities and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority had bid for the anchor portion of the issue, investments which will now be repaid by Adani.
Late on Wednesday, the group’s founder said he was abandoning the sale given the share price drop, adding his board felt moving forward with it “will not be morally correct”.
Leave a Reply