Biznextindia : The Adani Group on Sunday termed the allegations made by short seller Hindenburg Research to a “calculated attack” on India, its institutions and growth story, saying the allegations are “nothing but a lie”.
“This is not merely an unwarranted attack on any specific company but a calculated attack on India, the independence, integrity and quality of Indian institutions, and the growth story and ambition of India” said Adani Group.
In a 413-page response, Adani Group said the report was driven by “an ulterior motive” to “create a false market” to allow the US firm to make financial gains.
“The report has been put out with the admitted intent of Hindenburg (holding short positions in various listed companies of the Adani portfolio through U.S. traded bonds and non-Indian-traded derivatives, along with other non-Indian-traded reference securities) to profiteer at the cost of our shareholders and public investors. Hindenburg has not published this report for any altruistic reasons but purely out of selfish motives and in flagrant breach of applicable securities and foreign exchange laws” said Adani group.
“The truth of the matter is that Hindenburg is an unethical short seller. A short seller in the securities market books gain from the subsequent reduction in prices of shares. Hindenburg took “short positions” and then, to effect a downward spiral of share price and make a wrongful gain, Hindenburg published a document to manipulate and depress the price of stock, and create a false market. The allegations and insinuations, which were presented as fact, spread like fire, wiping off a large amount of investor wealth and netting a profit for Hindenburg. The net result is that public investors lose and Hindenburg makes a windfall gain. Thus, the report is neither “independent” nor “objective” nor “well researched” the company’s response read.
“The report claims to have undertaken a “2-year investigation” and “uncover evidence”, but comprises of nothing other than selective and incomplete extracts of disclosed information which has been in the public domain for years if not decades, attempts to highlight allegations which have since been judicially determined to be false, narrates as fact what is attributed to hearsay, rumours and gossip spread by unnamed sources such as “a former trader” or “touts” of a “close relationship”, questions the independence of the judicial processes and regulators in the nation, and selectively extracts statements devoid of their context and with no understanding of Indian law or industry practice. It is telling that not one of the allegations is a result of any independent or journalistic fact finding. The allegations and innuendoes made in the Hindenburg report are knowingly false. Hindenburg’s conduct is nothing short of a calculated securities fraud under applicable law” it added.
Responding to the questions raised by Hinderburg, Adani Group said “Not one of these 88 questions is based on independent or journalistic fact finding. They are simply selective regurgitations of public disclosures or rhetorical innuendos colouring rumours as fact. The report seeks answers to “88 questions” – 65 of these relate to matters that have been duly disclosed by Adani Portfolio companies in their annual reports available on their websites, offering memorandums, financial statements and stock exchange disclosures from time to time. Of the balance 23 questions, 18 relate to public shareholders and third parties (and not the Adani portfolio companies), while the balance 5 are baseless allegations based on imaginary fact patterns”.