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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Three local companies out of 12 short sellers profited from Adani stock crash

The foreign portfolio investors allegedly took exposure to Adani group stocks 2-3 days before the Hindenburg report was made public on January 24

Our Bureau Mumbai Published 30.08.23, 11:58 AM
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Representational image File picture

With the Sebi report on Adani still under wraps, a dozen firms including foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in tax havens were the top beneficiaries of short selling in the stocks of the conglomerate, according to media reports.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has passed on the information on the short sellers to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), according to the Indian Express.

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Sebi was supposed to present its fleshed-out status report to the Supreme Court on Tuesday. It is not clear if its contents will be publicly available. A shortened, 15-page preview released last Friday did not disclose any finding on the 24 separate issues that the market regulator is investigating.

According to the Express report, the ED arrived at this conclusion after a preliminary investigation into the Hindenburg report.

Hindenburg accused the Adani group of fraud that led to a major crash in the Adani group stocks.

The listed group companies saw more than $140 billion of their combined market value wiped off at one point of time.

Adani has denied the Hindenburg report.

The FPIs allegedly took exposure to Adani group stocks 2-3 days before the Hindenburg report was made public on January 24.

Investors bet on a fall in share prices and take a short position: they borrow securities and sell them; later they square off by buying them at a lower price.

The news report said three of the 12 short-sellers are based in India, and one is the Indian branch of a foreign bank.

Four are based in Mauritius and one each in France, Hong Kong, Cayman Islands, Ireland and London.

The short-sellers included two domestic companies, one registered in New Delhi and another in Mumbai.

Among the two, the market regulator has taken action against the promoters of a New Delhi-based company on charges of misleading investors and stock market manipulation.

The ED’s observations led to speculations on the identity of the short-sellers. Unconfirmed rumours in the market said one of them is an arm of a private sector bank.

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