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Business News/ Companies / News/  Deloitte flags Adani Ports deals citing lack of review

Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) Ltd’s auditor said insufficient disclosures over certain transactions means it can only issue a qualified opinion on the firm’s accounts, returning the spotlight to short seller Hindenburg Research’s allegations on Gautam Adani’s empire.

Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP raised concerns on Tuesday over the port unit’s transactions with three entities, which the company said were unrelated parties. But the auditor said it could not confirm that the parties were indeed unrelated, and that the firm has refused to get an independent external examination that would help prove so.

Noting that “the evaluation performed by the group does not constitute sufficient appropriate audit evidence for the purpose of the audit," Deloitte said it therefore cannot comment if the firm was fully compliant with local laws.

It’s the first time that a top auditor has issued a qualified opinion on part of the empire’s books citing allegations from the US short seller’s report that has wiped more than $100 billion off the group’s market value. The move will renew concerns that information gaps persist in the port-to-power conglomerate’s financial dealings and risks hampering its attempts to move past Hindenburg’s allegations of extensive corporate fraud.

The Adani Group has denied Hindenburg’s allegations. It is awaiting findings of a probe by India’s market regulator. An expert panel appointed by the top court in May found no regulatory failure or signs of price manipulation in the Adani Group stocks in its interim report.

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Updated: 01 Jun 2023, 12:02 AM IST
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