India's richest man and Adani group chairman Gautam Adani has slipped to 7th position in the world’s 500 richest people list after the release of an adverse report by U.S.-based short-seller Hindenburg Research and subsequent rout in the group company shares.
Adani's net worth stands at $92.7 billion, declining more than $27.9 billion in the year-to-date period and more than $20.8 billion since the release of the report on Tuesday (January 24) last week, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. On the other hand, the world's richest man Bernard Arnault’s net worth stands at $190 billion, followed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk at $167 billion, and Amazon chief Jeff Bezos at $126 billion.
Gautam Adani had overtaken Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to become the second richest person in the world in September 2022. However, Adani is now behind billionaires such as Oracle Corporation co-founder Larry Ellison ($101 billion), Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren Buffett ($108 billion) and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ($112 billion).
Another billionaire from India, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani remains on the 13th spot at $81.3 billion after losing $5.77 billion in the year-to-date period. Gautam Adani had seen an exponential rise in its net worth on the back of a consistent rise in its group company stocks. The Gujarat-based billionaire had entered the centibillionaires’ club — businessmen having a fortune of $100 billion or more — in April 2022.
The release of the Hindenburg report last week, however, caused a massive dip in the shares of the Adani group companies. Amid the selloff, shares of key group companies Adani Transmission, Adani Total Gas and Adani Green Energy hit a 20% lower circuit during the intraday trade today. The distressing three-day trading sessions have caused a cumulative loss worth ₹5 lakh crore in the market cap of Adani group companies, up from ₹3.86 lakh crore from Friday's market closing.
On January 24, the combined m-cap of all Adani group companies stood at ₹19.1 lakh crore, which has now reduced to around ₹14.02 lakh crore by today. Despite negative sentiments around the group stocks, the shares of Adani Enterprises Ltd, however, jumped as much as 5.13% on Monday after the ports-to-power conglomerate issued a 413-page reply to Hindenburg Research. Reacting to Adani Group’s detailed response to the Hindenburg report, the Adani Enterprises stock rose to ₹2,903 apiece on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), though staying below the FPO price band of ₹3,112-3,276 per share.
In its reply, the Adani group accused New York-based Hindenburg of being an "unethical short seller", which it said will only gain from the subsequent reduction in the 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 the stock, and create a false market," it alleged.
Responding to Adani Group’s rebuttal, Hindenburg Research has said the conglomerate is shifting the focus away from substantive issues and has instead stoked a nationalistic narrative by claiming that its research report amounted to a “calculated attack on India.”