Most Adani Group shares continued to drop sharply on Monday, even though the Indian conglomerate gave a detailed response to the criticisms of a U.S. short seller. This did not satisfy investors, whose market losses have now reached $65 billion in three days.
Adani Enterprises’ flagship stock, which is facing a crucial test this week with a follow-on share offering, went up by 3%, but it was still down from its initial gains of up to 10% and well below the offer price.
Adani, which is run by Asia’s richest man, Gautam Adani, has gotten into a fight with Hindenburg Research. On Sunday, Adani responded to the short-report seller’s letter from last week, which raised concerns about the company’s debt levels and use of tax havens. Adani said it follows all local laws and has told regulators everything they need to know.
Related: Hindenburg shorts Concerns about debt and accounting are raised by the Adani Group in India.
On Monday, Adani Transmission, Adani Total Gas, and Adani Green Energy all fell by 20%. Adani Ports and the Special Economic Zone lost 1.1% of their value.
The sale of $2.5 billion in secondary shares by Adani Enterprises is in its second day, but investors aren’t very optimistic. Early on, the stock was trading for 2,848 rupees, which was a long way below the price range of 3,112–3,276 rupees per share for the share sale.
On Friday, the first day of the offer, 1% of the shares were bought, even though the market as a whole was going down. First information from stock exchanges on Monday showed that 563,156 of the 45.5 million shares on offer have been bid on, which is 1.2%. According to the data, neither foreign nor domestic institutional investors nor mutual funds have made any bids so far in the offering.
Indian rules say that at least 90% of the shares must be bought, and if they aren’t, the issuer must give back the whole amount. Investors like Maybank Securities and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority put in bids for the anchor portion of the issue.
Adani Group said in a statement to Reuters on Saturday that the sale will go ahead as planned at the planned issue price. However, bankers at the country’s largest secondary share sale were considering extending the sale past January 31 or changing the price because the share price had dropped, according to sources.
Since last week, the Hindenburg report has caused seven listed companies in the Adani Group to lose a lot of money. Since the report came out, the market value of the seven listed group entities has dropped by $65 billion as of Monday. Adani Total Gas lost $21 billion the most.
In response to Adani’s response on Monday, Hindenburg said, “The response mostly confirmed our findings and didn’t answer our key questions.”
The stock market crash has been a huge setback for Adani, a 60-year-old man who dropped out of school but quickly became the world’s third richest man in recent years. Now, he’s fallen to eighth on the Forbes list.
Hindenburg’s report said that five of the seven most important publicly traded Adani companies had current ratios below 1, which is a measure of liquid assets minus short-term liabilities. This meant that there was “a higher short-term liquidity risk,” the report said.
It said that some of the listed Adani companies had “substantial debt,” which put the whole group on “precarious financial footing.” It also said that “sky-high valuations” meant that shares in seven of the listed Adani companies had an 85% downside.
In its response on Sunday, Adani said that its group companies have “consistently delevered” over the past ten years.