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Advice to Adani

EducationWorld February 2024 | Magazine Postscript

Seems like billionaire infrastructure to consumer products tycoon Gautam Adani heeded repeated EW advice to mount a counter-offensive to the Hindenburg Research report of January 24, 2023 which plunged the market cap of Adani Group companies listed on the National Stock Exchange from Rs.192 lakh crore on January 24 to Rs.68 lakh crore on February 7 last year. With the result that from being the richest man in Asia, Adani’s rank in the Forbes list of Asia’s HNI (high net worth individuals) slipped from #1 to #19.

For several months during which Adani Group equity shares were hitting new lows in the stock market, Adani cowered in his Ahmedabad den, prompting your editor to wonder what’s the point of being Asia’s richest man without having the resources to defend one’s reputation (see https://www.educationworld.in/simpleton-leader/).

We contended that far from being heavily in debt as alleged by Hindenburg Research, Adani Group has solid, on-the ground, tangible assets — ports, airports, power plants, edible oils refining capacity and agri-produce warehouses — generating substantial profits to easily pay off the allegedly huge bank debts of group companies. Perhaps our advice to Adani to strike back was accepted and on October 23, 2023 the group mounted a highly effective front page ad campaign in major dailies countrywide detailing how Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd had transformed a mud flat in the seaside town of Mundra (Gujarat) into India’s sole deep water port which facilitates 11 percent of India’s foreign trade and supports a thriving hinterland economy.

Evidently, the Supreme Court agrees. On January 3, 2024, it rejected a writ petition calling for a SIT (special investigation tribunal) to investigate the Hindenburg charges. As a result the market cap of Adani Group companies rose to Rs.143 lakh crore on January 24, 2024 and is well on its way to crossing the Rs.192 lakh crore high point. Inevitably, media pundits are likely to scoff at our claim of Adani having read this under-appreciated, education-focused publication. However in the vain hope that Adani, who has promoted several education institutions, may put some business our way, the billionaire has been on your editor’s complimentary list for a while and may well have availed our free-of-charge advice.

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