Adani Groups alleges Financial times of attempting to ‘financially destabilise’ the conglomerate

Adani Group has said there is a renewed attempt by the Financial Times and its collaborators to rehash old and baseless allegations to tarnish the name and standing of the Indian business conglomerate.

Edited By Sayantani Biswas
Updated9 Oct 2023, 07:33 PM IST
Adani Ports
Adani Ports (Bloomberg)

Adani Group has released a media statement condemning the ‘Malicious Campaign’ by UK based newspaper Financial Times, claiming that the media outlet has been rehashing old and baseless allegations to hamper the global reputation of the conglomerate. 

The Adani Group media statement alleged the UK media outlet of making “renewed attempt by the Financial Times and its collaborators to rehash old and baseless allegations to tarnish the name and standing of the Adani Group”. 

“Continuing their relentless campaign, the next attack is being fronted by Dan McCrum of the Financial Times, who jointly with the OCCRP put out a false narrative against the Adani Group on 31 August 2023. The OCCRP is funded by George Soros, who has openly declared his hostility against the Adani Group.” the statement added. 

The Adani Group alleged that the articles on Financial Times were part of extended campaign to advance vested interests under the guise of public interest.

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"The FT's proposed story is based on the DRI's General Alert Circular No.11/2016/CI dated 30 March 2016. The FT's brazen agenda is exposed by the fact that they have singled out the Adani Group, while the DRI's Circular, the raison d'etre for the whole story, mentions as many as 40 importers including the Adani Group companies," it added.

"This list not only includes some of India's major private power generators like Reliance Infra, JSW Steels and Essar but also the state power generating companies of Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, etc. and the NTPC and MSTC."

Adani Group alleged that FT is attempting to financially destabilise the Indian Business Conglomerate ‘by raking up an old, baseless allegation of over-invoicing of coal imports’.

Adani Group said in the case of Knowledge Infrastructure, one of the 40 importers mentioned in the General Alert Circular, the DRI's Show Cause Notice alleging over-valuation in the import of coal was quashed by the appellate tribunal (CESTAT).

Further, the DRI's appeal was dismissed as withdrawn by the Supreme Court on January 24, 2023 with the observation that "we appreciate the stand taken by the Government in not entering into futile litigation."

Clearly, the conglomerate in its Monday's media statement noted the issue of overvaluation in the import of coal was conclusively settled by India's highest court of law.

"The FT's proposed storyline is a clever recycling and selective misrepresentation of publicly available facts and information with a deliberate and mischievous suppression of judicial decisions to arrive at a predetermined conclusion. It shows scant respect for India's regulatory and judicial processes and authorities. It also deliberately ignores the fact that coal procurement in India on a long-term supply basis is done through an open, transparent, global bidding process thereby eliminating any possibility of price manipulation."

The question of over-invoicing price manipulation does not arise, it noted.

"It is unfortunate that some foreign entities like the OCCRP, supported by a section of the foreign media, short-sellers and domestic collaborators, have launched a series of attacks against the Adani Group with the primary intent of dragging down its market value. In fact, these individuals and groups, bound by the common objective of damaging the Adani Group, have developed a playbook which is being executed to perfection by a well-oiled and professional machinery working in sync both within India and abroad," Adani Group further said.

"While we deny all such allegations, which are false and baseless, we also condemn such deliberate, and motivated attempts to destabilise the Adani Group. We are a law-abiding company which is fully compliant with all rules, regulations and disclosure requirements with full respect for the rule of law," the Adani statement concludes.

OCCRP in a report in August alleged that two men who it claimed "secretly invested" in the conglomerate turned out to have "close ties to its majority owners", the Adani family, raising questions about violations of Indian law.

OCCRP - as per the information on its website - is "an investigative reporting platform formed by 24 non-profit investigative centres", spread across Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Early this year, an US short seller Hindenburg Group had launched an attack on Adani Group in January this year through a report that allegedly claimed accounting fraud, stock price manipulation and improper use of tax havens.

Post the Hindenburg report, the group had erased close to USD 150 billion in its market value. Adani Group has been denying all allegations since the beginning of the controversy. The Adani Group had then attacked Hindenburg as "an unethical short seller", stating that the report by the New York-based entity was "nothing but a lie". A short-seller in the securities market books gains from the subsequent reduction in the prices of shares. 

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First Published:9 Oct 2023, 07:33 PM IST
HomeCompaniesNewsAdani Groups alleges Financial times of attempting to ‘financially destabilise’ the conglomerate

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