SEBI Investigating Some Adani Group Companies, Says Minister Of State For Finance

Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Enterprises Ltd. (Photographer: Adeel Halim/Bloomberg)

SEBI Investigating Some Adani Group Companies, Says Minister Of State For Finance

Certain Adani Group companies are being investigated by Securities and Exchange Board of India over compliance with regulations, according to a written reply to a question in Parliament.

"The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence is also investigating certain entities belonging to the Adani Group under laws administered by it," Pankaj Chaudhary, minister of state for finance, said in a written reply to questions raised by Lok Sabha member Mahua Moitra, of the TMC party.

News of the minister's comments pushed down shares of Adani companies such as Adani Total Gas Ltd., Adani Power Ltd., Adani Transmission Ltd., Adani Enterprises Ltd., Adani Green Energy Ltd. and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. between 3-5%.

Later in the day, the Adani Group said it had not received any request for information from SEBI recently and that the DRI matter was an old one and under litigation.

The Adani-FPI Controversy

TMC member Mahua Moitra had asked -

  • for details of ultimate beneficial ownership of foreign portfolio investors in Adani companies

  • for information regarding any investigation by SEBI, IT, ED, DRI, MCA of the FPIs or Adani companies

  • clarification on whether the depository accounts of three such FPIs - Albula Investment Fund, Cresta Fund and APMS Investment Fund are frozen

  • whether the Monterosa Group, AlastairGuggenbuh1-Even, Eric Widmer, Martinde Quevain, Florian Linner are under investigation

The three foreign portfolio investors—Albula, Cresta and APMS are Mauritius-registered funds and have 90% or more of their portfolio invested in Adani group companies since financial year 2016-17, according to data on Bloomberg. The holdings were worth Rs 42,000 crore in June when news reports indicated the funds' accounts had been frozen causing a precipitous drop in shares of Adani companies and Gautam Adani's personal wealth.

The minister said that SEBI had, in a 2016 order in the GDR case, frozen beneficiary accounts of some FPIs including the three funds invested in Adani companies. No other order has been passed against them since, as BloombergQuint had also reported earlier.

Based on the disclosure to the Lok Sabha the ultimate beneficial owners of the three funds are:

APMS: Alastair Guggenbuchi Even and Yonca Even Guggenbuehl

Cresta: Markus Beat Dangel (100% - controlling)

Albula: Anna Luzia Von Senger Burger (controlling)

Earlier this month, Gautam Adani described the reporting in this matter as "reckless and irresponsible" by a few media houses. He had said that the "twisted narrative" affected some of his companies' small investors.

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