regular-article-logo Monday, 05 June 2023

Share pledge fog hits Adani stocks

Adani Enterprises was the worst hit as its shares plummeted 7.06 per cent or Rs 121.75 to Rs 1,601.55 in the BSE

Our Special Correspondent Mumbai Published 29.03.23, 06:17 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File Photo

Adani group shares tumbled across the board on Tuesday after a report in The Ken – a pan-Asian digital publication out of Bangalore – blew holes in the conglomerate’s claims that it had paid back $2.15 billion of share-backed debt and freed promoter holdings from all encumbrances.

The report sent investors into a fresh tizzy and prompted the stock exchanges to seek clarifications from the Ahmedabad-based group which has been battling a litany of accusations ranging from accounting fraud to stock manipulation.


The report was rejected by Adani group chief financial officer (CFO) Jugeshinder Robbie Singh.

Adani Enterprises was the worst hit as its shares plummeted 7.06 per cent or Rs 121.75 to Rs 1,601.55 in the BSE.

Four of the stocks — Adani Power, Adani Transmission, Adani Green Energy and Adani Total Gas — were stuck at their lower circuit levels of five per cent.

Adani Power ended at Rs 173.85, down Rs 9.15, while Adani Transmission lost Rs 53.45 to close at Rs 1,015.75.

Adani Green Energy fell Rs 49.20 to Rs 935.50 and Adani Total Gas closed at Rs 910.45, down Rs 47.90.

On the other hand, Adani Ports cracked 5.66 per cent to Rs 593.50 and Adani Wilmar shed 4.99 per cent to Rs 368.30.NDTV fell 4.99 per cent to Rs 174.35, while ACC declined 4.22 per cent to Rs 1,613.75 and Ambuja Cements by 2.91 per cent to Rs 359.

Major questions

The report in The Ken cited regulatory filings that showed the lenders had still not released the shares pledged by the promoter group, from which it surmised that the debt had not been fully repaid.

The report further said that the group has only reduced the amount through partial repayment to avoid pledging additional shares and lender action.

Singh rejected the contents of the report. ``Deliberate misrepresentation (and if I speculate out right lies).. they know that relevant exchanges will update end of quarter. The deliberate subterfuge will be clear to all once exchanges update the data post end of quarter,’’ he said in a tweet while claiming that all margin loans of the promoters have been paid in full.

The Ken report said that under current laws, lenders must inform the bourses about any change in the encumbrance of shares within two working days of the event. Promoters are required to make separate filings in seven working days.

In a separate tweet, Singh appended stock exchange filings of Adani Transmission, Adani Green Energy and Adani Enterprises which showed the release of pledges on various dates ranging from March 13 to March 22.

The filings showed that the last release happened in Adani Transmission on March 22, which accounted for 0.02 per cent of the total equity. It also indicated that there are still shares which are encumbered that lend some credence to The Ken report.

The development led to both the stock exchanges seeking clarification from the Adani group. At the time of going to press, the Adani group had not filed its response.

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