Adani Enterprises recovers all stock mkt losses sparked by Hindenburg

Adani Enterprises recovers all stock mkt losses sparked by Hindenburg

Shares of Adani Enterprises Ltd., the flagship of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s group, have erased all the losses inflicted by a scathing short-seller report in early 2023, after the conglomerate cut debt and landed major projects.

The stock clawed back losses of more than $30 billion that came after US-based Hindenburg Research alleged wide-ranging corporate malfeasance and share-price manipulation at the ports-to-power conglomerate in January 2023. The group has repeatedly denied those allegations.

The flagship’s stock rose 1.7 per cent to 3,445.05 in Mumbai on Friday and has now almost tripled since its nadir in February 2023. The latest upswing comes as some analysts expect Adani Enterprises’ stock to be included in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index in June, potentially bringing passive flows.

Other Adani companies are engaging with global investors to raise fresh debt as the group pushes ahead with plans to expand its cement and copper businesses. Besides Adani Enterprises, at least five of the 10 listed Adani group stocks are trading above the levels seen before the Hindenburg report.

“There are a handful of groups in India that can undertake big projects and Adani Group has taken the leadership position,” said Abhay Agarwal, a fund manager with Mumbai-based Piper Serica Advisors Pvt.
“Investors are looking at Adani group as a policy play and since there is a clear direction on the country’s policy, we are seeing recovery.”

Shares of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd.
and Adani Power Ltd. have been among the best performers this year among the group companies, adding more than 35 per cent each while television broadcaster New Delhi Television Ltd. has been the biggest laggard, giving away 5.5 per cent.

While the conglomerate’s shares have rallied this month, allegations related to the group were highlighted during the ongoing national elections in India that have entered their last leg.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made unsubstantiated allegations that India’s main opposition party received illegal cash from billionaires Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani.

Back in January 2023, the short seller Hindenburg’s bombshell report saw Adani Enterprises scrap a $2.4 billion equity offering — which was then poised to be India’s largest follow-on share sale — amid a stock meltdown that at one point eroded more than $150 billion from the group’s market value. It also wrecked the personal wealth of Gautam Adani while the short seller’s claims set off regulatory probes in India.

The group is now less than $30 billion away from returning to the market value it commanded on the eve of the short seller report.

The first leg of the recovery in Adani stocks came in March last year after star emerging-market investor Rajiv Jain’s GQG Partners bought shares worth almost $2 billion in four of the group firms, including the flagship, from an Adani family trust. Jain added to his positions through 2023. The group also drew investments from Qatar Investment Authority and UAE-based International Holding Co.