Billionaire George Soros, who is known for breaking the Bank of England in 1992, has said that the Adani crisis will significantly weaken Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stranglehold on India's federal government and open the door to push for institutional reforms.
While delivering a speech at the 2023 Munich Security Conference, Soros, a vocal critic of PM Modi, said he expects a "democratic revival" in India.
"Adani Enterprises tried to raise funds in the stock market, but he failed. Adani is accused of stock manipulation and his stock collapsed like a house of cards. Modi is silent on the subject, but he will have to answer questions from foreign investors and in parliament," the billionaire alleged.
Soros also attacked India for buying cheap Russian oil. "Modi maintains close relations with both open and closed societies. India is a member of the Quad (which also includes Australia, the US, and Japan), but it buys a lot of Russian oil at a steep discount and makes a lot of money on it," he said.
These comments come three weeks after U.S. short seller Hindenburg Research accused the Adani group of "brazen stock manipulation" of its listed companies. The conglomerate has lost $125 billion in market capitalisation since the release of the Hindenburg report on January 24.
On Wednesday, Adani Group said its businesses are generating consistent cash flows and there is no material refinancing risk. There is no near-term liquidity requirement as there is no significant debt maturity, the ports-to-energy conglomerate said in a credit note.
The Adani group's gross debt stood at ₹2.26 lakh crore ($27.7 billion) at the end of September 2022. Its cash balances increased to ₹31,646 crore in December from 29,754 crore in September.
"Adani portfolio companies operate in utility and infrastructure businesses with more than 81% of EBITDA being generated from core infrastructure businesses providing assured and consistent cash flow generation," the credit note said.
The Ahmedabad-based conglomerate said it has a "strong asset base which has been built over three decades that supports the resilient critical infrastructure and guarantees best-in-class asset performance over the entire life cycle." The group's portfolio of assets stood at ₹3.71 lakh crore ($45.2 billion) as of September 2022.
Adani Enterprises, the group's flagship firm which acts as an incubator, on Tuesday posted a net profit of ₹820 crore for the third quarter against a loss of ₹12 crore in the year-ago period.
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