In the last two days India’s forex reserves have increased by $8 billion, an indicator that the developments surrounding the Adani Group, including the scrapping of Adani Enterprises’ follow-on public offer, has not dented overseas investor sentiments, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
In an interaction with the media in Mumbai on Saturday, the finance minsiter said pullout of the FPO by Adani will have no impact on the perception about India. “Our macroeconomic fundamentals, the image of our economy, none of it has been affected. The fact that we have had $8 billion of foreign exchange reserve growth during last two days shows that perception of India and its inherent strength is intact,” she said, adding that FPOs will come and go and Adanis were not the only ones to withdraw public issues.
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Over the last couple of weeks there has been intense scrutiny on India as stock markets have brone the brunt of selling pressure after Hindenburg Research, a short seller hedge fund, levelled allegations at the Adani Group accusing it of malpractices, including round-tripping and fraud. While the ₹20,000 crore FPO by flagship Adani Enterprises was fully subscribed, the group decided to scrap it on the grounds that the stock was volatile and investors’ interests were paramount.
The Adani group, through its various entities is involved in significant infrastructure projects all over the country, including roads, airports, and ports and concerns have been raised about the impact on the economy if the group runs into funding problems.
Two global ratings agencies, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Services, did not initiate any rating action with respect to the credit ratings of the Adani group entities, but said they were monitoring the situation with regard to the group’s ability to raise funds. S&P Global Ratings however revised the ratings outlook of two entities, Adani Ports and Adani Elkectricity, to negative from stable earlier.
On the allegations against the Adani Group, stocks of the companies and debt exposure to banks, Sitharam said that regulators such as the Reserve Bank of India and Securities and Exchange Board of India “will do their jobs.”
“Regulators are independent,” she added.