His comments came as the title Adani Enterprises, flagship of his conglomerate, had just plunged 10% as soon as the Bombay Stock Exchange opened, forcing the suspension of trading on several occasions.

The action fell 30% in the morning.

The group continued Friday its stock market debacle triggered by accusations of accounting fraud by the American investment company Hindenburg Research last week.

Adani Power, Adani Green Energy, Adani Total Gas, of which French giant TotalEnergies owns 37.4%, and Adani Transmission also saw their trading suspended on Friday morning.

Critics of the tycoon say his closeness to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both from Gujarat state, helped him win deals and avoid proper scrutiny.


“These allegations are baseless,” he objected Friday morning on the television channel India Today, adding that the fact that the two men were born in Gujarat made him an “easy target”.

"The fact is that my professional success is not due to a single leader but to the political and institutional reforms initiated by several leaders and governments over a long period of more than three decades," he added.

Mr. Adani's conglomerate has been hard hit by accusations of "brazen manipulation of shares and a system of accounting fraud over several decades" brought by the investment analysis firm Hindenburg Research.

Adani Group CEO Gautam Adani in Bombay on November 19, 2022 © INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP/Archives

The group reacted to it on Sunday by claiming to be the victim of a "malicious" attack aimed at tarnishing its reputation.

“This is not just an unwarranted attack on any specific company, but a calculated attack on India, the independence, integrity and quality of Indian institutions, and the history of growth and ambition of India," he replied in a lengthy statement that did not appear to have convinced investors.

The conglomerate's combined market capitalization has fallen by more than $100 billion since the publication of the Hindenburg Research report.

Gautam Adani saw his personal fortune plummet by tens of billions of dollars, excluding him from the Top 10 of the world's greatest fortunes compiled by Forbes in real time.

He lost his title as the richest man in Asia as a result.

The Adani Group on Wednesday evening canceled its follow-on public offering (FPO) of $2.5 billion of shares in Adani Enterprises which had been oversubscribed the previous day, as the struggling tycoon considered it would not be "morally correct" to continue the operation.

Worrying debt

The sale was supposed to help reduce the company's worrying debt levels and restore confidence by expanding its shareholder base.

On Wednesday, the title of Adani Enterprises ended trading on a fall of 28.45% to 2,128.70 rupees (26 dollars).

According to the Bloomberg agency, this plunge would be linked to information that the banking group Credit Suisse had stopped accepting bonds from the Adani conglomerate as collateral for margin loans granted to its private banking clients.

Asked by AFP, Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Adani Group CEO Gautam Adani in Bombay on November 19, 2022 © INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP/Archives

Since then, other banking groups like Citigroup in the United States have done the same, again according to Bloomberg, raising concerns about how Adani will be able to raise fresh funds.

Analysts say the storm is hurting India's image even as it seeks to steer foreign investors away from China.

India's central bank has asked lenders for details of their exposure to the Adani Group whose interests include ports, telecoms, airports, media, coal, oil and solar power, Bloomberg reported citing sources. anonymous.

In his interview on Friday, Mr Adani claimed that only 32% of the loans taken by his companies were with Indian banks, nearly half of their debt was international bonds.

"My group and I are confident that we can keep our promises and do business in any part of the world," he also said.

© 2023 AFP