Australian regulator to review short-seller report on India’s Adani

Updated: Feb 1, 2023, 05:21 GMT+00:00

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's corporate regulator is reviewing a short-seller report that accused India's Adani Group of improper use of offshore tax havens and high levels of debt, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources.

Illustration shows Adani logo and decreasing stock graph

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia’s corporate regulator said on Wednesday it will review a short-seller report that has flagged a wide range of concerns about India’s Adani Group.

Hindenburg Research, a well known U.S. short-seller, last week accused the group of improper use of offshore tax havens and cited concerns about high debt, triggering a $72 billion rout in Adani Group stocks.

The conglomerate has called the report baseless and said it is considering taking action against Hindenburg, adding that it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements.

Among concerns relating to Adani’s Australian operations, Hindenburg questioned the appointment of an executive and its accounting practices.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) “will review the allegations against Adani and determine whether further inquiries are warranted,” a spokesperson for the regulator told Reuters.

Bravus, an Australian Adani Group company, said in a statement that the group “refutes all allegations” made in the Hindenburg report about its Australian operations and that it has publicly provided evidence to back up its stance.

Adani Group’s Australian businesses all comply with the law, a spokesperson said, adding that none had been contacted by ASIC or the Australian Tax Office about Hindenburg Research’s allegations.

The Hindenburg report “presents transactions related to Adani’s Australian businesses in a misleading way to purposefully undermine the reputation of the Adani Group, in order to pursue their own profit by short-selling shares in Adani Group companies,” the statement said.

In Australia, the conglomerate operates the Carmichael coal mine and a related rail line, the North Queensland Export Terminal which is a major port for Queensland coal exports, as well as a solar farm.

On Tuesday, a crucial $2.5 billion share sale for the Adani Group was fully subscribed with foreign institutional investors and corporate funds taking part, although participation by retail investors was low.

(Reporting by Lewis Jackson and Renju Jose in Sydney and Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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