India’s capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), informed the Supreme Court on August 25 that its probe into potential securities law violations by billionaire Gautam Adani’s conglomerate has concluded. SEBI revealed that it has scrutinized 24 transactions involving the Adani group’s listed companies, with 22 investigations now finalized. While the specifics of the findings were not disclosed, SEBI emphasized its intention to take necessary actions based on the outcomes.
Awaiting Supreme Court Hearing
Scheduled for August 29, the Supreme Court hearing holds the key to further developments in this matter. SEBI’s course of action will be guided by the apex court’s directives as the regulatory body navigates this complex investigation.
Previous Developments and Allegations
Earlier this month, on August 14, SEBI sought an extension of 15 days from the Supreme Court to submit its investigation report on the Adani Group. SEBI had already completed investigations into 17 out of the 24 transactions under scrutiny. The Adani group’s listed companies faced a significant market value decline exceeding $100 billion due to governance concerns raised by U.S.-based Hindenburg Research. Denying any wrongdoing, the group refuted the allegations.
Supreme Court’s Directive and SEBI’s Response
Responding to the allegations, the Supreme Court instructed SEBI to investigate and furnish its findings to a six-member panel established in March, which included a retired judge and experienced bankers. The apex court initially granted SEBI an extension until August 14 to conclude the investigation, although SEBI had requested a six-month window for the task.
Hindenburg’s Allegations and Adani Group’s Response
Hindenburg Research’s allegations in January accused the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate of “bold stock manipulation and accounting fraud,” contentions firmly rejected by the Adani group. They dismissed the report as “a calculated attack on India.”
Market Impact and Ongoing Developments
Notably, all 10 Adani Group stocks experienced a downturn on August 14, with flagship entities like Adani Enterprises and Adani Ports witnessing a nearly 4 per cent drop, ranking them among the most affected Nifty50 stocks.
In summary, SEBI’s completion of its probe into the Adani Group’s potential securities law violations marks a significant juncture in this high-profile case. The forthcoming Supreme Court hearing will illuminate the regulatory path ahead, shaping the fate of the conglomerate within the legal framework.