Indian billionaire Adani loses $9b after media reports over offshore investors

Gautam Adani
Although the Adani group called the report “blatantly erroneous”, investors concerned over transparency rushed for the exit Image Credit: Supplied

Mumbai: Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s lost $9 billion after a media report raising questions about some offshore investors triggered a rout in his conglomerate’s six listed stocks.

The 58-year-old tycoon lost more money this week than anyone else in the world, with his personal fortune tumbling by about $9 billion to $67.6 billion. Just days ago, he was closing the gap with Mukesh Ambani as Asia’s richest man. Adani Group stocks continued to fall on Thursday.

The U-turn in shares started Monday after the Economic Times reported that India’s national share depository froze the accounts of three Mauritius-based funds because of insufficient information on the owners. The bulk of the holdings of Albula Investment Fund, Cresta Fund and APMS Investment Fund – about $6 billion – are shares of Adani’s firms.

Although the Adani group called the report “blatantly erroneous” and said it was “done to deliberately mislead the investing community”, investors concerned over transparency rushed for the exit. The Mauritius offshore funds hold more than 90 per cent of their assets under management in Adani group companies, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

A decade’s worth

These overseas funds “have been investors in Adani Enterprises Ltd. for more than a decade,” Adani Group said in a June 14 statement. “We urge all our stakeholders not to be perturbed by market speculations.”

In identical exchange filings the same day, Adani group companies said that they had written confirmation from the Registrar and Transfer Agent that the offshore funds’ demat accounts in which Adani shares were held “are not frozen”.

Shares of Adani Green Energy, slipped 7.7 per cent this week. Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone plunged 23 per cent in four days, Adani Power, Adani Total Gas and Adani Transmission tumbled at least 18 per cent, while flagship Adani Enterprises fell almost 15 per cent.