Morgan Stanley cuts free float status of four Adani firms, but spares delisting them from indices
Free float is the proportion of shares that can be bought publicly in the securities markets by international investors.
The woes of Adani Group companies continued on Thursday as global stock index compiler Morgan Stanley Capital International said it will cut the free float status of four of the conglomerate’s firms, Reuters reported.
MSCI defines a free float as the proportion of shares that can be bought publicly in the securities markets by international investors.
However, the Adani Group stocks escaped from being removed from the MSCI indices after it launched a review of the companies, Bloomberg reported. Nine of the Adani Group’s 10 stocks ended lower on Thursday after reports about the review emerged.
The Morgan Stanley Capital International has cut free float status for four Adani Group stocks in its quarterly review. On the MSCI Global Standard Index, the weighting of flagship firm Adani Enterprises was reduced by 30 basis points to 0.5%. The weightings of Adani Transmission, Adani Total Gas and ACC Limited were also reduced.
In a statement published early on Thursday India time, the United States-based firm said the review was triggered by market participants concerns about the eligibility of the Adani Group companies for some of its indexes.
“MSCI has determined that the characteristics of certain investors have sufficient uncertainty that they should no longer be designated as free float pursuant to our methodology,” the company said. “This determination has triggered a free float review of the Adani Group securities.”
After the announcement, Adani Group flagship company Adani Enterprises plunged 11% after losing as much as 20% during early morning trade, Reuters reported. Adani Transmission, Adani Total Gas and Adani Power witnessed a fall of 5% each.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund said that it has sold its stakes in three Adani Group companies worth $200 million dollars (Rs 1,651.63 crore), Reuters reported.
“Since year-end, we have further reduced in Adani companies. We have no exposure left,” Christopher Wright, the fund’s head of ESG (environmental, social and governance) risk monitoring, said.
At the end of 2022, the wealth fund had stakes in Adani Total Gas, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone and Adani Green Energy.
The group led by billionaire Gautam Adani has been engulfed in crisis since United States-based investment firm Hindenburg Research alleged in a report on January 24 that the conglomerate had engaged in decades of stock manipulation and accounting fraud. It also accused the group 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. In a brutal fallout, Adani Enterprises was also forced to call off its Rs 20,000 crore follow-on public offering that was meant to repay debt. Adani himself is no longer Asia’s richest person after he slipped down the global rankings of the wealthy.
Last week, S&P Dow Jones Indices had said it will remove Adani Enterprises from its sustainability indices.
After the MSCI move, Hindenburg founder Nathan Anderson on Thursday wrote on Twitter: “We view this as validation of our findings.”
The index compiler in its statement said that changes for Adani securities associated with its MSCI Global Investable Market Indexes are scheduled to be announced later on Thursday as part of its regular review for February.