Adani shares plunge and politicians demand action after reports of hidden investors

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Shares in Indian industrial group Adani plunged and opposition politicians demanded action after the Financial Times and two other media outlets reported new revelations about family-linked shareholders in the company’s shares.

The reports shed light on Indian institutions and the relationship between the group’s founder, Gautam Adani, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a frantic atmosphere ahead of the elections scheduled for early next year.

The value of the 10 companies included in the group fell by $4.2 billion, or 3.3 percent, on Thursday after the Financial Times and 3.3 percent reports. Watchman It revealed opaque exoskeletons that had protected some of the group’s largest shareholders, and their ties to the Adani family, from the public eye.

“This is a matter of India’s global reputation and it must be investigated,” Rahul Gandhi, India’s most prominent opposition figure, told a news conference in Mumbai. “We are trying to show the world and our business that India is a level playing field,” he added. India will host the G20 summit from September 9-10.

Adani said it categorically rejects what it called the “recycled allegations” and seeks to link the reports to billionaire George Soros.

The reports were based on documents obtained by me Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a global network of investigative journalists funded in part by the Soros Open Society Foundations. They also revealed that there was an investigation into the Adani Group by India’s stock market regulator which was closed after Modi came to power in 2014.

After US short group Hindenburg accused Adani of manipulating its share prices in a report published in January, India’s financial regulator told the Supreme Court that there had been no such investigations before 2020.

“The independent evidence supporting our work is overwhelming,” Hindenburg told the Financial Times. “All eyes are on Indian regulators as to whether they will act on what is now quite clear.”

Saket Gokhale, a spokesman for the Trinamool National Congress, an opposition party, said he had written to the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India “demanding an urgent investigation into these allegations against Adani”.

“These news reports appear to be yet another concerted attempt by Soros-funded interests supported by a section of the foreign media to revive the undeserved Hindenburg Report,” Adani Group said.

After Adani was approached for comment last week, BQ Prime, a financial news site she owns, published a report. Opinion article It stated, “Known attackers from the Government of India and Modi in foreign shores along with their allied toolkits were preparing another strike under the guise of investigative reporting.”

Soros became unpopular among officials in Modi’s government and its supporters after the 93-year-old businessman and philanthropist said in February that “Modi and businessman Adani are close allies; they are good friends.” Their fates are intertwined,” expecting the dispute to weaken the administration.

On Thursday, the #SorosAttacksIndia hashtag trended on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Open Society Foundations said it was “proud to be among a number of organizations providing support to the OCCRP, acting completely independently on the issues they choose to investigate. What we are seeing now in India is a bogus attempt to discredit OCCRP’s work without engaging with its findings.

Adani’s interests range from infrastructure, energy, construction, fuel and media. From a peak market capitalization of $288 billion last year, its 10 listed companies were valued at $127 billion at the market close on Thursday.

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