Gautam Adani: The rise and rise of Asia's richest person

The losses of India’s Adani conglomerate exceeded $100 billion on Thursday, following a short-seller report that led the company to walk back a planned public share sale.

Losses across Gautam Adani’s main businesses hit $107 billion by 10 a.m. London time on Thursday since the Jan. 24 publication of an extensive critical report from New York’s Hindenburg Research, which disclosed a short position in Adani Group companies.

Market value loss for Adani companies

Company name Market cap ($bn Jan 24) Market cap ($bn Feb 2) Total loss ($bn) Total loss (%)
Adani Enterprises 48.03 17.46 30.56 63.64
Adani Green Energy 37.09 18.01 19.09 51.45
Adani Ports 20.11 11.42 8.69 43.22
Adani Transmission 37.62 19.02 18.60 49.44
Adani Total Gas 52.29 21.76 30.53 58.39
Adani Power 12.97 9.01 3.96 30.51
Adani Wilmar 9.12 6.33 2.78 30.54
Ambuja Cements 12.11 8.24 3.88 31.99
ACC 5.37 4.09 1.28 23.90
Total loss 119.38

Source: CNBC, FactSet, as of 6 AM UTC on Feb. 3

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After what it called a two-year investigation, the report accused the conglomerate of “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades.”

The Adani Group firmly denied the accusations, calling them “nothing but a lie” from the “Madoffs of Manhattan” in a 413-page riposte that failed to soothe skittish investor sentiment and rein in a rapid sell-off.

“It is tremendously concerning that the statements of an entity sitting thousands of miles away, with no credibility or ethics has caused serious and unprecedented adverse impact on our investors,” the Adani response said, describing Hindenburg as an “unethical short seller.”

“Hindenburg has not published this report for any altruistic reasons but purely out of selfish motives and in flagrant breach of applicable securities and foreign exchange laws,” it said.

Hindenburg on Jan. 29 retorted that the Adani commentary “predictably tried to lead the focus away from substantive issues and instead stoked a nationalist narrative, claiming our report amounted to a ‘calculated attack on India’.”

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Gautam Adani slipped out of Forbes’ Top 10 list of the world’s richest men.

The swift share decline of Adani Group companies has sparked concerns over broader systemic risk to Indian markets. India’s central bank has asked local banks for the details of their exposure to the Adani conglomerate, Reuters reported Thursday, citing government and banking sources.

“Unprecedented” market conditions and sharp fluctuations in the daily stock price pushed Adani Enterprises to axe its $2.5 billion follow-on public offering (FPO) on Wednesday.

“The interest of the investors is paramount and hence to insulate them from any potential financial losses, the Board has decided not to go ahead with the FPO,” Adani said in a statement.  

The FPO sale was fully subscribed.

Shares for Adani Enterprises shed 26.7% during Thursday’s session, with Adani Ports down 6.6% and Adani Green and Adani Transmission each losing 10%.

— CNBC’s Ganesh Rao contributed to this article.

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