Home Tax News Several of Adani’s dollar bonds fell most in over six months on US probe

Several of Adani’s dollar bonds fell most in over six months on US probe

Several of Adani’s dollar bonds fell most in over six months on US probe

By Ameya Karve

Several of Adani Group’s dollar bonds fell the most in more than half a year, after news that US prosecutors have widened their probe of the port-to-power conglomerate to focus on whether it may have engaged in bribery. The group’s shares were trading lower in pre-market trade.

A note from unit Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. due in 2041 slid 2.4 cents, the most since August, to 79.1 cents. Another bond from subsidiary Adani Renewable Energy RJ Ltd. due 2039 fell 2.3 cents to 83 cents, the worst drop since February 2023. That pares gains in recent months that sent the securities to their highest levels since 2022. 

Shares of all 10 companies related to the Adani Group were lower in early trading in Mumbai.

US investigators are digging into whether an Adani entity, or people linked to the company including Gautam Adani, were involved in paying officials in India for favorable treatment on an energy project, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. The probe, which is also looking at Indian renewable energy company Azure Power Global Ltd., is being handled by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Justice Department’s fraud unit in Washington, said people familiar with the matter. 

“We are not aware of any investigation against our chairman,” Adani Group said in an emailed statement. “As a business group that operates with the highest standards of governance, we are subject to and fully compliant with anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws in India and other countries.” 

Gautam Adani, his company and Azure haven’t been charged with wrongdoing by the Justice Department, and investigations don’t always lead to prosecutions.

Adani’s sprawling empire was rocked early last year by claims from short-seller Hindenburg Research that the conglomerate manipulated its stock price and committed accounting fraud. The group has vigorously denied those allegations and the shares have largely climbed back from their initial plunge.

Still, the report prompted the Justice Department, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission, to look into some of the claims, Bloomberg News reported last year.

While the probe from US prosecutors will cast a shadow on the group, investor sentiment toward its firms has continued to improve in recent weeks as it trimmed debt, pared founders’ share pledges and successfully sold a dollar bond earlier this month.

The combined market value of Adani Group’s listed firms has more than doubled to $190 billion since their nadir early last year. They are still more than $40 billion short of the level seen prior to Hindenburg Research’s wide-ranging allegations last year. 

“Adani stocks have been ferociously reacting to news flow related to the group, and there is a possibility of a knee-jerk reaction,” said Kranthi Bathini, a strategist with Mumbai-based WealthMills Securities Pvt. Markets in India have been consolidating in recent weeks, dragged by a selloff in small-cap shares, and high-beta stocks such as Adani Group firms, tend to move sharply in such situations, he added.

First Published: Mar 18 2024 | 9:17 AM IST


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