Shares in Adani Group companies continued to plunge on Friday, as the embattled conglomerate grapples with stock market mayhem unleashed after a US short seller accused it of fraud.
Adani Enterprises, the group’s flagship firm, was down over 15% in Mumbai, bringing the cumulative fall in share price to more than 60% since the allegations surfaced. The plunge has wiped out over $29 billion in the firm’s market capitalization.
On Wednesday, the company abruptly abandoned a $2.5 billion deal to sell new shares, just 24 hours after it was sealed. Gautam Adani, the group’s founder, said in a recorded video address on Thursday that the share issue was pulled to protect investors from losses — the stock had been trading well below the offer price since last week.
But his address did little to halt the stock market meltdown that has wiped more than $100 billion off the combined market value of his companies.
Other Adani stocks also slumped on Friday. Adani Ports was down more than 8%, while Adani Total Gas was down 5%.
The unprecedented crash in value of Adani Group shares started when an American short seller, Hindenburg Research, accused the conglomerate of fraud and stock market manipulation.
The Adani Group has denounced the report as “baseless” and “malicious,” but analysts say the group hasn’t convincingly answered the questions raised by Hindenburg’s report.
Adani is seen as a close ally of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi. Opposition lawmakers have begun asking for a probe into the Hindenburg report. They even staged a protest in India’s parliament on Wednesday while the country’s finance minister presented the annual budget.
Adani’s personal fortune has taken a massive hit because of the stock market turmoil. Last week, he had a net worth of $120 billion, making him the fourth-richest person in the world. His net worth has now fallen to a little more than $61 billion and claims the 21st spot on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.
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