As the rout in Adani group’s stocks triggered by short seller Hindenburg Research’s allegations touched $92 billion on Wednesday, as per news agency Bloomberg, business tycoon Gautam Adani lost his status as the world’s richest Indian to fellow Gujarati businessman and Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Sixty-year-old Adani has now been pushed to the No. 15 spot on the list of world’s richest billionaires, compiled by Forbes, with his wealth now estimated at $75.1 billion. Sixty-five-year-old Ambani is at 9th position with a net worth of $83.7 billion. Over the last three years, Ambani and Adani have swapped positions as world’s richest Indian on several occasions.
With that, Ambani also became the world’s richest man from Asia, sharing the top-ten space in the Forbes list of billionaires with Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Larry Page among others.
Brotherhood of billionaires
Adani groups, on Tuesday, secured a $2.5 billion share sale amid the short-seller storm, triggered by allegations of stock manipulation, accounting fraud and use of tax havens against the conglomerate.
While the heavy lifting was done by a $400 million investment from a conglomerate based in Abu Dhabi, a few other uber-rich surprisingly came to the last-minute defense of their compatriot.
People who’re neither financial institutions nor small investors bid for 3.3 times the stock reserved for them as a class. A Delhi-based industrialist, three Gujarati pharmaceuticals billionaires and a steel magnate from Mumbai were among the share sale’s white knights, according to the Economic Times. Read more here.
But, FPO cancelled
However, Adani Enterprises sprung up a surprise on Wednesday evening, announcing that it has “decided not to go ahead with the fully-subscribed Follow-on Public Offer” and assured that all proceeds will be refunded to investors. In a statement, it cited “unprecedented” market fluctuations and “extraordinary circumstances” to conclude that going ahead would not be “morally correct”.