Nirmala Sitharaman On Adani Group Controversy Says Regulators Will 'Do Their Job'

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday, addressing the controversy over short seller allegations against Adani Group, said regulators are independent of government and “will do their job” to ensure the market is well-regulated.

What Happened: “Actually, for keeping the market regulated well in prime condition, the SEBI is the authority and it has the wherewithal to keep that prime condition intact,” Sitharaman said at a press conference on Saturday, as first reported by the Economic Times.

According to the finance minister, one issue — no matter how much global attention it gets — won’t determine investor confidence in the Indian financial markets.

The top finance minister’s comments follow an an earlier comment from the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, who said that the government has “nothing to do with Adani matters.”

Why It Matters: The clarification arrives amid continued disruptions in both houses of Parliament over a report by short-seller Hindenburg Research raising a host of allegations against Adani Group of having weak business fundamentals, attempts of stock manipulation and major accounting lapses, among others.

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In the aftermath of Adani Group’s stock wipeout, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has decided to explore possible irregularities in the conglomerate's recent share sale. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India has asked lenders for details of their exposure to the group.

Subsequently, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) has decided to put a number of companies under the Adani Group under a short-term additional surveillance measure (ASM) which necessitates that intraday trading in shares requires a 100% upfront margin. The companies put under ASM by NSE include Adani Enterprises, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, and Ambuja Cements.

Adding to the conglomerate’s troubles, U.S.-based Citigroup on Thursday joined the likes of Credit Suisse in putting a halt on accepting the company’s security bonds as collateral for margin loans. Adani Group’s flagship company, Adani Enterprises will also be removed from Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, effective before the market opens on Feb. 7.

Price Action: This is how the Adani Group shares traded as the markets closed on Friday.

Adani Enterprises shares traded 2.19% lower at ₹1,531.00.

Adani Green Energy was down 10% to trade at ₹935.90.

Adani Ports & SEZ was up around 5.6% to trade at ₹488.40.

Adani Power shares traded 5% lower at ₹191.95.

Adani Total Gas shares traded 5% lower at ₹1,622.35.

Adani Wilmar shares plunged to hit lower circuit at open, down 5% to ₹399.95.

Adani Transmission shares were down 10% to ₹1,396.05.

Ambuja Cement shares traded 5.56% higher at ₹372.15. ACC shares traded 4.28% higher at ₹1,920.00.

NDTV was down 5% to trade at ₹212.75.

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Posted In: Adani GroupFinance MinisterFinance Ministryministry of parliamentary affairsNirmala SitharamanPralhad JoshiRBISEBI