India's Adani Group loses $48 billion in stocks due to allegations of fraud.
After a US investment firm said that Gautam Adani, the richest man in Asia, had engaged in "brazen" corporate fraud, shares of his business empire fell, resulting in losses of $48 billion.
After Hindenburg Research raised concerns in a research dated January 24 over debt levels and the usage of tax havens, seven listed firms of the Adani conglomerate had a combined loss in market capitalization of $48 billion.
After taking a $22.6 billion damage in Friday's exchange, Adani, who was the third-richest person in the world at the start of the week, is now rated seventh on Forbes' billionaires tracker.
The group's flagship firm, Adani Enterprises, experienced an almost 20 percent decline during the course of the day's trading in Mumbai, briefly resulting in an automatic trading halt. However, the stock recovered marginally to settle 18.52 percent lower.
Adani Total Gas, Adani Green Energy, and Adani Transmission all had 20 percent declines in share price, along with five other group firms experiencing circuit breakers on their own stock exchanges.
Ashish Chaturmohta, head of equity research at JM Financials, said to AFP: "Obviously, this is panic-selling." He said that traders were establishing new short-sell positions to safeguard past optimistic wagers on Adani shares.
In its study, Hindenburg Research said that Adani Group had manipulated results and concealed related-party transactions to "maintain the image of financial health and solvency" of its listed business entities.
The Adani Group denied the allegations, claiming that Hindenburg had launched a "maliciously mischievous" reputational war against them and that the article was unfounded.
Jatin Jalundhwala, the legal department's head, stated that Adani was investigating the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the New York-based research advisory in both US and Indian courts.
In response, Hindenburg claimed that Adani had avoided the problems that its research had revealed and instead had resorted to "bluster and threats."
The company issued a statement saying, "If Adani is serious, it should also pursue suit in the US." In a legal discovery process, "we have a long list of papers we would want."
Adani, who has a $96.6 billion net worth, is regarded as a close ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Adani has refuted charges that he or other billionaires received preferential treatment from Modi's administration, which have been made frequently by India's main opposition Congress party.
The Adani Group was founded in 1988 and started by selling commodities. The conglomerate's business ventures now encompass mining and renewable energy in addition to ports and airports.
According to the research, because of decades of "government indulgence for the group," lawmakers, journalists, investors, and everyday people have been afraid to speak out against the gang's behavior out of concern for retaliation.
"The signal is that nobody will question the Adanis because they are so close to the forces that are today," economist Arun Kumar told AFP.
Adani has filed significant [legal] actions against anybody who attempted to conduct some inquiry or earlier criticized the company, so they have scared off a lot of people, he continued.
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