Gautam Adani back on list of world’s 20 richest men

With his assets valued at USD61.2 billion, Adani – chairman of port-to-energy conglomerate the Adani Group was at 17th place in Forbes’ real-time list of richest billionaires on Tuesday.

| Updated: 07 February, 2023 6:17 pm IST
In September last year, Gautam Adani briefly became the second richest person in the world.

After a brief, unceremonious fall, Indian billionaire Gautam Adani has jumped back to secure a spot in the top 20 on the list of richest individuals across the world.

With his assets valued at USD61.2 billion, Adani – chairman of port-to-energy conglomerate the Adani Group was in 17th position in Forbes’ real-time list of richest billionaires on Tuesday.

Adani’s assets plunged to a record low in the recent past, pushing him to as low as 22nd place on the list after US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research published a damning report against the group on January 24.

The report led to a bloodbath on bourses with shares of publicly listed Adani companies tanking by around 50% cumulatively and hitting lower circuits in several trading sessions.

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Adani briefly became the second richest man in the world in September last year and remained in the third position since then. He continued to slip in the ranking and slumped to the 22nd position on January 3.

His assets were valued at around USD120 billion at the time of the publication of the Hindenburg report which accused the Adani Group of “pulling the largest con in corporate history”.

In its report, Hindenburg charged the infrastructure giant with manipulating stock prices and committing accounting fraud by way of pumping money into Adani stocks through shell companies floated in tax heavens.

The report claimed that Adani amassed USD100 billion of his wealth in the last three years even as the countrymen suffered economic woes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Shares of the listed Adani Group companies shot up by an average of 819 per cent during that period.

“Key listed Adani companies have also taken on substantial debt, including pledging shares of their inflated stock for loans, putting the entire group on precarious financial footing,” the firm said.

In response, the Adani Group rejected the report calling it “maliciously mischievous, unresearched” and announced to initiate legal action against the activist finance firm.

“We are evaluating the relevant provisions under US and Indian laws for remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research,” the group said on January 26.

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