Hindenburg effect: Adani slips to 7th position on world’s richest list

The net asset of Gautam Adani – who once held the prestige of becoming the world’s second-richest person – is now pegged at USD 96.5 billion, according to Forbes.

New Delhi | Updated: 27 January, 2023 6:13 pm IST
In September last year, Gautam Adani briefly became the second richest person in the world.

Gautam Adani – the billionaire in the eye of the share market storm – lost nearly 19 per cent of his net wealth to settle at the seventh position on the list of the world’s richest individuals amid massive offloading of Adani Group shares on Friday.

According to Forbes’ real-time billionaires index, the Adani Group founder and chairman lost more than USD 22.5 billion as investors continued panic selling of his companies in wake of allegations of “stock manipulation” and “accounting fraud”.

The net asset of Adani – who once held the prestige of becoming the world’s second-richest person – is now pegged at USD 96.5 billion, according to Forbes.

In September last year, he surpassed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to briefly become the second-richest person in the world with a net worth of around USD150 billion. He held the third spot for quite some time and was pushed to the fourth spot on January 24, the day when Hindenburg Research published its report.

ALSO READ: Adani Group pulled largest con in corporate history: US research firm

Until recently, the assets of the businessmen were valued at USD120 billion.

In its lengthy, the US-based short-term seller accused the Adani Group of pulling the “largest con in corporate history” – a charge denied by the energy-to-port conglomerate.

“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, adding that it published the report a 2-year investigation.

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.

The Hindenburg Research report further claimed that key listed companies of the Adani Group have taken on “substantial debt, including pledging shares of their inflated stock for loans, putting the entire group on precarious financial footing”.

The Adani Group has previously been the focus of 4 major government fraud investigations which have alleged money laundering, theft of taxpayer funds and corruption, totalling an estimated USD17 billion, it added.

The group has announced to sue the US firm for its “maliciously mischievous, unresearched” report. “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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