Adani Group Stocks Plunge Into Red As OCCRP Provides Fresh Insights Into Stock Manipulation Allegations

All ten listed stocks of the Adani Group were down in the red on Thursday as George Soros-Backed Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) revealed scathing allegations against the Gautam Adani-led conglomerate.

What Happened: The organisation on Thursday released its report on the Adani Group stating that “hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in publicly traded Adani stocks through opaque investment funds based in the island nation of Mauritius.”

The report adds that it found at least two separate instances where – Adani stock holdings surged to a peak of $430 million (₹3,526 crore) – it has come to light that the investors involved had well-documented connections to the majority shareholders of the Adani conglomerate, the Adani family.

The organisation identifies these two individuals as Nasser Ali Shaban Ahli and Chang Chung-Ling and adds that the two have longstanding business affiliations with the Adani family. They have not only held positions as directors and shareholders in companies affiliated with the Adani Group but have also been linked to enterprises associated with Vinod Adani, a senior member of the family, the report states.

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The organisation said that records indicate that these individuals utilised Mauritius-based funds as a vehicle to engage in the buying and selling of Adani stocks over several years. This strategy was executed through offshore structures that veiled their direct involvement, ultimately resulting in substantial financial gains. Furthermore, the documentation illustrates that the management entity responsible for overseeing their investments enlisted the services of a Vinod Adani-affiliated company to offer counsel on their investment endeavours.

The report also cites an insider source revealing that the fund managers in charge of Chang and Ahli's investments in EIFF (Emerging India Focus Fund) and EMRF (EM Resurgent Fund) received direct instructions on the investments from an Adani company. As per the report, these two funds were used to trade large amounts of shares in four Adani companies between 2013 and 2018 by Ahil and Ling.

Why It Matters: The report questions whether this arrangement between Ahil, Ling and the Adani Group violates the law that caps promoter holdings in listed stocks at 75%. This law is designed to prevent stock manipulation by the owners of the company.

The Adani Group has denied all allegations: “These allegations are not only baseless and unsubstantiated but are rehashed from Hindenburg's allegations," a group representative said. "Further, it is categorically stated that all the Adani Group's publicly listed entities are in compliance with all applicable laws including the regulation relating to public shareholdings.”

The report comes in the wake of the Hindenburg report that was released earlier this year. The US-based short seller had accused the Adani Group of similar malpractices. In its report, the short seller had alleged that Adani was “pulling the largest con in corporate history.”

Price Action: This is how the Adani Group shares traded as the markets opened on Thursday.

Adani Enterprises shares traded 1.89% lower at ₹2,465.50.

Adani Green Energy was down 1.85% to trade at ₹952.50.

Adani Ports & SEZ was up 1.61% to trade at ₹805.50.

Adani Power shares traded 2.21% lower at ₹321.15.

Adani Total Gas shares traded 1.63% lower at ₹641.80.

Adani Wilmar shares were down 0.35% to ₹367.35.

Adani Transmission shares were down 10% to ₹1,261.40.

Ambuja Cement shares traded 1.13% lower at ₹439.05 ACC shares traded 1.03% lower at ₹1,980.

NDTV was down 0.068% to trade at ₹218.95.

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