New Delhi, January 30
US short seller Hindenburg Research has dismissed the Adani Group’s accusation that its report was an attack on India, saying a ‘fraud’ cannot be masked by nationalism or a bloated response that ignored the response to the main allegations.
Commenting on the 413-page response the Adani Group released late Sunday evening in response to its report, Hindenburg said he believed India was a vibrant democracy and emerging superpower with an exciting future and that it was the Adani group which held it “systematic looting”.
Hindenburg stood by his report from last week which said his two-year investigation found that the Adani Group “engaged in a brazen scheme of stock manipulation and accounting fraud over decades”.
Hindenburg said the response from the conglomerate led by Asia’s richest man, Gautam Adani, “opened with the sensationalist claim that we are the ‘Madoffs of Manhattan’.”
He said Adani claimed to have committed a “flagrant violation of applicable securities and foreign exchange laws.” “Despite Adani’s failure to identify such laws, this is another serious charge that we categorically deny,” he said.
The Adani Group on Sunday night likened Hindenburg’s damning allegations to a “calculated attack” on India, its institutions and its history of growth, saying the allegations are “nothing but a lie”.
He said the report was motivated by “an ulterior motive” to “create a false market” to allow the US company to make financial gains by depressing stock prices. The document is “a malicious combination of selective misinformation and hidden facts about baseless and discredited allegations to drive an ulterior motive,” he said.
“This is rife with conflicts of interest and is intended solely to create a false securities market to enable Hindenburg, a recognized short seller, to achieve massive financial gain through illicit means at the expense of countless investors” , he said, questioning the credibility and ethics of Hindenburg.
Hindenburg responded by saying that the Adani group “predictably attempted to distract from substantive issues and instead fueled a nationalist narrative.”
“The Adani Group has tried to confuse its meteoric rise and the wealth of its chairman, Gautam Adani, with the success of India itself,” he said.
“We disagree. To be clear, we believe that India is a vibrant democracy and an emerging superpower with an exciting future. We also believe that India’s future is being held back by the Adani Group, who draped himself in the Indian flag while systematically plundering the nation.” Stating that a ‘fraud is a fraud even when perpetrated by one of the richest people in the world’, he said Adani’s ‘413-page’ response was only about 30 pages long. focused on issues related to the report.
“The rest of the response consisted of 330 pages of court filings, as well as 53 pages of high-level financial data, background information and details of irrelevant corporate initiatives, such as how they encourage the female entrepreneurship and the production of safe vegetables,” he added. said.
“Our report posed 88 questions specific to the Adani Group. In his response, Adani did not answer 62 of them specifically. Instead, he mostly grouped the questions into categories and provided generalized deviations.”
He then reiterated his allegations and explained how the Adani Group had not responded to them.
The report by the small New York short-selling firm caused the Adani Group to lose more than $50 billion in market value in just two trading sessions last week and Adani himself lost more than $20 billion. dollars, or about one-fifth of his total wealth.
In the report, Hindenburg called the conglomerate’s “substantial debt,” which includes pledging stock for loans; that Adani’s brother Vinod “runs a vast maze of fictitious offshore entities” that funnel billions into group companies with no disclosure required; and that its auditor “seems hardly capable of complex audit work”.
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