- Gautam Adani — Asia’s richest person — saw his wealth plunge over $20 billion on Friday alone, per Bloomberg.
- The wealth wipeout followed a crash in the shares of his listed businesses, after a bombshell short-seller report.
- Adani is now the world’s 7th richest person — down from the 4th position earlier last week.
It’s just one month into 2023, but Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest person, has already seen his wealth plunge by nearly a quarter following a short seller’s bombshell report against the Adani conglomerate.
In a scathing report last Tuesday titled “how the world’s 3rd richest man is pulling the largest con in corporate history,” Hindenburg Research leveled allegations of “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme” at the Adani Group.
Since much of Adani’s wealth is derived from his stakes in the companies, the Indian billionaire’s wealth also took a massive hit, plunging $20.8 billion on Friday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Adani, who’s wealth clocks in at around $92.7 billion as of January 30, is still the world’s richest Asian, but his ranking on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index has dropped to the seventh place — down from the fourth position earlier last week. His fortune has fallen almost $28 billion or about 23% so far this year.
This is the largest ever hit to the Indian billionaire’s wealth and the steepest ever market-driven decline for anyone in Asia, according to Bloomberg.
Adani Group has strongly rebutted Hindenburg’s report
Hindenburg’s report also comes at an inopportune time for the Adani Group, which is offering a secondary share sale of Adani Enterprises — the flagship business of the Adani business empire. The sale closes Tuesday.
On Sunday, the conglomerate also issued a 413-page report against Hindenburg, saying its report is “nothing but a lie.”
“This is not merely an unwarranted attack on any specific company but a calculated attack on India, the independence, integrity and quality of Indian institutions, and the growth story and ambition of India,” the Adani Group said in its Sunday report.
Hindenburg responded on Sunday the Adani Group failed to answer most of the questions it had asked and had “predictably tried to lead the focus away from substantive issues and instead stoked a nationalist narrative” and tried to conflate Adani’s rise with the success of India itself.
“To be clear, we believe India is a vibrant democracy and an emerging superpower with an exciting future,” Hindenburg said in its strongly worded statement. “We also believe India’s future is being held back by the Adani Group, which has draped itself in the Indian flag while systematically looting the nation.”
Hindenburg further said “fraud is fraud, even when it’s perpetrated by one of the wealthiest individuals in the world.”
Adani did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent via the Adani Group.