Monday 15th April 2024

Adani dropped out of world’s 25 richest list

Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, is no longer among the list of the world’s 25 wealthiest billionaires, according to Forbes and Bloomberg indices, after his net worth dropped to $43.4 billion on February 22. The decline comes over a month after US short-seller Hindenburg Research, the Gujarat-based conglomerate, was implicated in stock manipulation and accounting fraud.

Adani, who grabbed the title of Asia’s richest person and the world’s third-richest person till now, recently faced a drop in his net worth, making him the 30th richest billionaire according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

However, according to Forbes’s rich list, Adani carried the 38th position, which is far behind the third position.

Adani begins the year with a $121 billion net worth that makes him the third wealthiest person in the world. He was assumed to overtake Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and inch toward the top two. However, according to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaire List for 2023, on February 1, Adani slipped to the 10th spot as his net worth slipped below Reliance Industries tycoon Mukesh Ambani, who was the world’s richest Indian.

On February 3, Adani was out of the top 20 list as his net worth fell further to $58 billion. However, earlier this week, another round of market volatility pushed Adani to the 25th spot on the Forbes and Bloomberg Real-Time Billionaires list.

Adani has acquired the position of India’s richest person since February 2022. He saw an increase in wealth during the COVID-19 pandemic with an upsurge of $42.7 billion in assets, making it the fifth largest wealth increase in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He was the second richest person on the planet, with a net worth of $156.3 billion in September 2022.

The downgrade comes aftermath of the Hindenburg Report, published on January 24, which claimed the group manipulated stocks and improperly used tax havens. Adani repeatedly rebuffed the report’s allegations and threatened legal action against the short seller. But market confidence remains low due to concerns about the speed of growth and ability to finance debt. According to Bloomberg, the market capitalization of the Adani group has lost over $135 billion since January 24.

On February 22, Adani flagship Adani Enterprises plunged 10.4% on the BSE following reports that an employee manipulated information on Wikipedia about the Adani Group.

The combined value of 10 Adani Group companies, including Adani Green Energy and Power, and Adani Ports, fell below the $100 billion mark earlier this week.

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Sri Lanka Approves renewable energy projects of Adani group

Sri Lanka’s investment promotion body has approved Adani group’s two renewable energy projects to be set up in the east and northern regions of the island country at a total investment of USD 442 million.

It is a wind power plant project approved to be set up in Pooneryn and Mannar. In Pooneryn, the wind power plant will operate at a capacity of 100 MW (megawatt), while in Mannar, it will operate at a capacity of 250 MW.

A release said India’s Adani Green Energy Limited got an approval letter from The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka for the set up of two wind power plants in Pooneryn and Mannar.

The two plants of 350 MW are expected to be commissioned in two years, and then they will be append to the national grid by 2025.

Early this week, the representatives of the Adani Group visited with the minister of  Energy, Kanchana Wijesekara, to look over the progress of the two projects.

This new project is expected to generate 1500-2000 new employment opportunities.

This was the first official meeting when the US-based short seller Hindenberg Research made a list of allegations against the Indian conglomerate, such as fraudulent transactions and share-value manipulation. However, the company has dismissed the allegations as a lie, stating that it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements.

Adani investment in Lanka’s energy sector is in addition to its investment in the Western container terminal port of Colombo.

The group’s head Gautam Adani met the then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in October 2021, so he signed a deal to develop the Western Container Terminal of Colombo Port under the Rajapaksa Presidency after the group proceeded with investment in the country.

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