India’s Adani group bled for a second straight day on the stock markets after a US-based financial research firm accused it of “pulling the largest con in corporate history.”
On Friday (Jan. 27), the share of Adani Enterprises, the group’s holding company, lost around 19% to end the day at 2,762 rupees per share ($33.85). This was the stock’s biggest fall since 2017.
In all, five of Adani’s seven listed companies— Adani Enterprises, Adani Total Gas, Adani Transmission, Adani Green Energy, and Adani Ports & SEZ—were in the red. Adani Total Gas lost nearly $9.7 billion in market capitalization, Adani Green Energy lost close to $7 billion, and and Adani Transmission around $6.4 billion.
The stocks’ rout began on Jan. 25, after Hindenburg Research, a New York firm, published a damning report on the group. In total, the group has lost more than $51 billion in market capitalization.
How much has the Hindenburg report hurt Adani?
Hindenburg Research said its two-year investigation, published on Jan. 24, showed that the Adani group, led by the world’s third-richest person Gautam Adani, was involved in massive and “brazen stock manipulation” and an “accounting fraud scheme.”
The meltdown in Adani stocks hurt Indian markets more broadly as well. The Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark Sensex was down by 1.45% on Friday, while the National Stock Exchange’s Nifty declined 1.61%.
“The current rout has plunged Adani’s fortune below the $100 billion threshold he surpassed in April last year,” Bloomberg reported. “It stood at about $93 billion at the close [of markets] in Mumbai, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Taken together, he’s lost roughly $26 billion since Hindenburg’s report was published, more than one-fifth of his fortune.”
The havoc wreaked on Adani shares also seems to have prompted a lethargic response to the company’s $2.45 billion follow-on public offer (FPO) that opened on Friday.
Spokespersons for the Adani group have rejected the findings of the research report. “The report is a malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations that have been tested and rejected by India’s highest courts,” Jugeshinder Singh, the group’s chief financial officer said.