How Gautam Adani lost US$50 billion in just one week


Here’s a timeline of how Indian billionaire Gautam Adani has seen his fortune shrink by US$51.7 billion in the past week as his group of companies have had to battle against allegations of stock manipulation and fraud raised by U.S.-based activist investor Hindenburg Research.

Gautam Adani. Image: Getty

January 24, 2023: Hindenburg Research discloses a short position against Adani Group’s listed companies and publishes a report that accuses the Indian conglomerate of engaging in “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades.”

January 25, 2023: The Adani Group’s CFO Jugeshinder Singh dismisses the allegations in a video address calling them “a malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations that have been tested and rejected by India’s highest courts.” Gautam Adani’s fortune dips from US$126.4 billion to US$120 billion as the Indian stock market responds negatively though he remains the world’s third-richest person.

January 26, 2023: Adani Group’s Legal Head Jatin Jalundhwala issues a statement saying the company was “evaluating the relevant provisions” under both U.S. and Indian laws for “remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research.” There’s no change in Adani’s net worth as Indian markets remain closed for Republic Day.

January 27, 2023: Adani Group’s listed stocks are hit by a selloff causing its billionaire founder’s net worth to drop to US$98.1 billion, pushing him out of the world’s top five richest people.

January 29, 2023: The Adani Group issues a 413-page rebuttal against Hindenburg Research’s report and calls the short seller’s actions “a calculated attack on India, the independence, integrity and quality of Indian institutions, and the growth story and ambition of India.” In its retort, Hindenburg accuses the Adani Group of draping itself in the Indian flag “while systematically looting the nation.”

January 30, 2023: Adani Group’s listed companies continue to take a hit on the stock market as Adani’s net worth slumps by another US$8.5 billion to US$88.2 billion.

January 31, 2023: Adani Group completes its US$2.5 billion follow-on share offering which manages to beat predictions and is fully subscribed, aided by investments from Middle Eastern institutional investors and other Indian billionaires. Adani’s net worth rises slightly to US$89.1 billion.

February 1, 2023: Adani Group’s listed firms are hit by another massive stock rout with his flagship Adani Enterprises ending the day 28.20% in the red. Adani loses the title of Asia’s richest person to compatriot Mukesh Ambani, and slides down to No. 15 on the list of the world’s richest people with an estimated net worth of US$74.7 billion.

Adani’s corporate office in Ahmedabad. Image: Getty
Big Number

US$92 Billion. That is the total drop in the valuation of Adani Group’s listed firms since the company’s stock since Hindenburg’s allegations became public, according to Bloomberg.

What To Watch For

The Indian government and the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi have faced intense criticism from opposition parties over their silence on the allegations raised against the Adani Group. On Wednesday evening, Reuters reported that it was in touch with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on the matter. The regulator is expected to provide a report to the government soon.

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