Shares of Adani Enterprises, the Adani Group’s flagship company, plunged 35% to its lowest level since March 2021 in intra-day trading on Friday, before ending with gains of 1.25%. The stock finished in the green for the first time in seven straight trading sessions on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Shares of the conglomerate led by Indian tycoon Gautam Adani have lost nearly half their combined market value since United States-based investment firm Hindenburg Research last month accused the Adani Group of pulling “the largest con in corporate history”.
On Thursday, S&P Dow Jones Indices said it will remove Adani Enterprises from its sustainability indices.
The decision will be effective prior to the market opening on February 7, S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a statement. The move is the latest setback to the Adani Group as it will make shares of Adani Enterprises less appealing to sustainability-minded funds.
On January 24, Hindenburg Research, a company that specialises in short-selling or betting against a firm’s share price in the expectation that it will fall, alleged in a report that the Adani Group had engaged in decades of stock manipulation and accounting fraud. It also accused the conglomerate of improper use of offshore tax havens and raised concerns about high debt of seven listed Adani companies.
Since the report was published, Adani Group’s combined market capitalisation has collapsed by over $100 billion, Bloomberg reported. Adani himself is no longer Asia’s richest person, and has slipped to the 22nd position on the billionaire’s list from being ranked 3rd before the Hindeburg report was published.
On Thursday, the bonds issued by companies of Adani also hit distressed levels in global secondary trading, tanking as much as 20 cents on the dollar. As the brutal market rout continued, Adani Enterprises abruptly called off its Rs 20,000 crore follow-on public offering that was meant to repay debt.
On Friday, trading of shares of Adani Enterprises were repeatedly suspended on the Bombay Stock Exchange, AFP reported. It saw a decline of 10% when markets opened.
Other group companies also lost further ground with Adani Enterprises and Adani Ports being the top losers on Nifty 50 index.
Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra questioned why the National Stock Exchange was yet to reevaluate the index membership of Adani stocks.
“S&P Dow Jones removes Adani Enterprises from Dow Jones indices due to charges of stock manipulation and accounting fraud,” Moitra wrote. “Why is NSE India not reevaluating index membership of Adani stocks when international ones are?”
The Adani Group has repeatedly denied the allegations and called the report a “calculated attack” on India and its institutions. It added that Hinderburg Research, by its own admission, is a short seller and claimed that its aim was to book massive financial gain through wrongful means at the cost of countless investors.
Hindenburg, in turn, said that Adani Group cannot conceal its fraud by draping itself in the national flag. It said the conglomerate had not given specific answers to 62 of the 88 questions that it had raised in its report last week.