NEW DELHI, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Millions of dollars were invested in some publicly traded shares of India’s Adani Group through an “opaque” Mauritius fund, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, an alleged scam of the Adani family. Used to “obscur” the involvement of trading partners. (OCCRP) said in an article on Thursday.
The non-profit global network of investigative journalists, citing a review of files from multiple tax havens and internal Adani Group emails, said it has found at least two cases where investors bought Adani stock through such offshore structures and sold.
Shares of group flagship company Adani Enterprises (ADEL.NS) declined 2% following the publication of the report, while Adani Ports (APSE.NS), Adani Power (ADAN.NS), Adani Green (ADNA.NS), Adani Total Gas (ADAG.NS) and Adani Wilmar (ADAW.NS) each slid between 1%-2%.
The OCCRP article comes after US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research in January accused the Adani group of improper business dealings, including the use of offshore entities in tax havens such as Mauritius, from where it said some offshore funds were diverted. “Secretly” owned Adani’s stock. Listed Companies.
The Adani group has called Hindenburg’s claims misleading and without evidence and said it has always complied with the law.
However, a few days after the January report, Adani Group’s shares lost $150 billion in market value and remained down nearly $100 billion in recent months after an improvement in paying off some debt and regaining some investor confidence.
In a statement to the OCCRP, the Adani Group said that the Mauritius Fund investigated by journalists had already been named in the Hindenburg Report and that “the allegations are not only baseless and baseless, but are repeated from Hindenburg’s allegations.”
“It is expressly stated that all publicly listed entities of the Adani Group comply with all applicable laws, including regulation relating to public shareholdings,” the OCCRP was told, according to the news article.
Reuters has not independently verified OCCRP’s claims.
The Adani Group said it categorically “completely” rejected the recycled allegations, and said the timing of the news reports was dubious, mischievous and malicious.
Hindenburg Saga, Regulatory Investigation
The Hindenburg report heavily influenced billionaire Gautam Adani, who leads the energy conglomerate from the port and was the world’s third-richest person as of January. The crisis forced him to halt a $2.5 billion stock sale and convince banks about his business creditworthiness.
The Supreme Court of India later appointed a panel to oversee market regulatory investigations based on the Hindenburg Report. In May the panel said the regulator has so far “drawn blank conclusions” in its probe into suspected violations in foreign investments in the Adani group.
Last week, the regulator said its report is nearing completion and its probe on some offshore deals is taking time as some of the entities are located in tax haven jurisdictions. “The regulator will take appropriate action based on the findings of the probe,” it added.
The regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the OCCRP report.
The OCCRP report on Thursday named two individual investors it investigated in the investment for its article — Nasir Ali Shaaban Ahli and Chang Chung-ling — whom OCCRP described as “longtime business partners” of the Adani family. Is.
The media organization said there was no evidence that the money for Chang and Ahli’s investment came from the Adani family, but said its reporting and documents – including an agreement, corporate records and an email – showed that there is “evidence” that he trades in Adani stock. “The coordination was done with the family.”
“The question of whether this arrangement is in violation of the law hinges on whether Ahli and Chang should be considered acting on behalf of Adani ‘promoters’, a term used in India to refer to the majority owners of a business.” are used for,” said the OCCRP.
If so, OCCRP said, his stake in Adani Holdings would exceed the 75% limit allowed for insider ownership.
The news article noted that Ahli and Chang did not respond to OCCRP’s requests for comment. Reuters could not immediately reach Ahli and Chang for comment.
In an interview with a reporter from the Guardian, the OCCRP said Chang said he knew nothing about any covert purchases of Adani stock. He asked why reporters weren’t interested in his other investments and said, “We’re a simple business.”
Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Krishna Kaushik; Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Raju Gopalakrishnan
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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