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Indian watchdog tells investors markets stable despite Adani rout

Published Feb 04, 2023 08:02AM ET Updated Feb 04, 2023 09:40AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past the logo of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), at its headquarters in Mumbai, India, May 27, 2022. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas 2/2

MUMBAI (Reuters) -India's market regulator moved to calm investor concerns on Saturday, saying that its financial markets remain stable and continue to function in a transparent and efficient manner, despite recent dramatic stock falls in Adani Group companies.

Shares in Adani Group firms, controlled by billionaire tycoon Gautam Adani, have dropped by $100 billion, or half their market value, since U.S-based short-seller Hindenburg Research made allegations of stock manipulation and unsustainable debt.

"During the past week, unusual price movement in the stocks of a business conglomerate has been observed," the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said in a statement, without naming any specific entity.

The Adani Group denies all Hindenburg's allegations, but the fall in the value of its stocks led it to call off earlier this week a $2.5 billion share sale by Adani Enterprises.

Mechanisms were in place to address excessive volatility in specific stocks, SEBI said, adding these were automatically triggered under certain conditions of stock price volatility.

Any matters related to specific entities will be examined and appropriate action will be taken, the regulator added.

Reuters earlier reported that SEBI was examining the recent crash in the Adani Group's shares and looking into any possible irregularities.

The comments follow a similar assurance from the central bank which said that the banking sector remained stable.

Shares of the group's flagship company stabilised somewhat on Friday and closed 1.4% higher, after earlier slumping 35% to hit their lowest level since March 2021. That low took its losses to nearly $33.6 billion since last week, a 70% fall.

Earlier on Saturday, India's Finance Secretary TV Somanathan said that from a macroeconomic perspective, the Adani issue is a "storm in a teacup", while Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said regulators are independent and will take their own action.

Meanwhile, Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra Group, another of India's biggest conglomerates tweeted on Saturday that investors should "never, ever bet against India" despite "current challenges in the business sector".

Mahindra did not directly mention Adani Group.

Indian watchdog tells investors markets stable despite Adani rout

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