Hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in publicly traded Adani stock through opaque investment funds based in the island nation of Mauritius that had direct links with Adani group promoters, according to exclusive documents obtained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
“In at least two cases — representing Adani stock holdings that at one point reached $430 million — the mysterious investors turn out to have widely reported ties to the group’s majority shareholders, the Adani family. The two men, Nasser Ali Shaban Ahli and Chang Chung-Ling, have longtime business ties to the family and have also served as directors and shareholders in Adani Group companies and companies associated with one of the family’s senior members, Vinod Adani,” OCCRP said in a report.
It alleged that there is evidence that Chang and Ahli’s trading in Adani stock was coordinated with the family.
The documents show that, through the Mauritius funds, they spent years buying and selling Adani stock through offshore structures that obscured their involvement — and made considerable profits in the process. They also show that the management company in charge of their investments paid a Vinod Adani company to advise them in their investments, according to the OCCRP report.
These allegations were first reported by Hindenburg Research. However, an investigation done by SEBI hit a wall because rules do not require foreign investors to disclose their ultimate beneficiaries. SEBI has recently changed regulations in this regard.
Categorically reject recycled allegations: Adani group
Adani group said it “categorically reject these recycled allegations. These news reports appear to be yet another concerted bid by Soros-funded interests, supported by a section of the foreign media, to revive the meritless Hindenburg report. These claims are based on closed cases from a decade ago, when the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) probed allegations of over-invoicing, transfer of funds abroad, related party transactions and investments through FPIs.”
“An independent adjudicating authority and an appellate tribunal had both confirmed that there was no over-valuation and that the transactions were in accordance with applicable law. The matter attained finality in March 2023, when the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India ruled in our favour. Clearly, since there was no over-valuation, there is no relevance or foundation for these allegations on transfer of funds,” Adani group added.
The company said these FPIs are already part of the investigation by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). “As per the Expert Committee appointed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, there is no evidence of any breach of the Minimum Public Shareholding (MPS) requirements or manipulation of stock prices. These attempts are aimed at, inter alia, generating profits by driving down our stock prices and these short-sellers are under investigation by various authorities. As the Hon’ble Supreme Court and SEBI are overseeing these matters, it is vital to respect the ongoing regulatory process,” Adani said
“We have complete faith in the due process of law and remain confident of the quality of our disclosures and corporate governance standards. In light of these facts, the timing of these news reports is suspicious, mischievous and malicious - and we reject these reports in their entire,” it added.