Gautam Adani, who fell from fourth to eleventh on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, may soon lose his position as Asia’s richest person after falling outside the top 10 richest persons in the world as shares in his business continue to decline.
Bernard Arnault is on top of the list of wealthiest people followed by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, making them the top 3 richest people in the world.
What happened to Gautam Adani?
The Indian tycoon lost $34 billion in personal fortune in just three trading days. Adani currently ranks just one spot above rival and chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd. Mukesh Ambani, whose net worth is $82.2 billion. Adani’s current fortune is $84.4 billion.
Following the release of a report by Hindenburg Research alleging “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud,” shares of Adani Group firms have plunged in a three-day selloff that has destroyed more than $68 billion in market value.
Hindenburg’s two-year investigation also found that elder brother Vinod Adani, “through several close associates, manages a vast labyrinth of offshore shell entities”.
“We believe the Adani Group has been able to operate a large, flagrant fraud in broad daylight in large part because investors, journalists, citizens and even politicians have been afraid to speak out for fear of reprisal,” it said.
On the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Adani now lags behind Mexico’s Carlos Slim, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
How has Adani reacted?
On January 25, Adani’s finance chief called the Hindenburg report a “malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations that have been tested and rejected by India’s highest courts”.
On Sunday the firm issued a 413-page statement that it said rebutted all of Hindenburg’s claims, calling the group the “Madoffs of Manhattan” — a reference to crooked financier Bernie Madoff.
“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,” it said.