Gautam Adani isn't Asia's richest person any more after losing over $50 billion as his companies' stock rout deepens

gautam adani
Gautam AdaniAmit Dave/Reuters
  • Gautam Adani is no longer Asia's richest person, after falling to 15th place on Forbes' billionaires list.

  • The Indian industrialist has lost over $50 billion as Adani Group stocks continue a weeklong selloff.

  • A short-seller alleged Adani's conglomerate was involved in fraud and market manipulation.

Indian industrialist Gautam Adani is no longer Asia's richest person as a rout in his conglomerate's stocks intensified, after a bombshell report by short-seller Hindenburg Research.

He now has an estimated net worth of $74.7 billion and ranks as the world's 15th wealthiest person on Forbes' billionaire list, which updates the value of richest people's public holdings in real-time when their stock markets are open. He was overtaken by Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries who is worth $83.7 billion and ranks 9th on the list.

Adani had ranked 3rd on Forbes' list as recently as at the start of last week, before Hindenburg accused the conglomerate of "pulling the largest con in corporate history" by engaging in stock manipulation and accounting fraud. The group has dismissed the report as "misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations."

The founder and chairman of the Adani Group has seen his fortune shrink by $50 billion in the wake of the short-seller report, as his business empire's stocks continued to tumble on Wednesday, just one day after he managed to raise enough funds to secure the $2.5 billion share sale of his flagship company Adani Enterprises.

While some took India's largest follow-on share issue as a sign that investors were sticking by the conglomerate despite the scathing Hindenburg report, shares in Adani Enterprises sank nearly 30% on Wednesday. All of the flagship firm's six other listed companies — with businesses related to power, ports, transmission, gas, green energy, and food — also reported declines.

"There was a slight bounce yesterday after the share sale went through, after seeming improbable at a point, but now the weak market sentiment has become visible again after the bombshell Hindenburg report," Ambareesh Baliga, a Mumbai-based independent market analyst, told Reuters.

"With the stocks down despite Adani's rebuttal, it clearly shows some damage on investor sentiment. It will take a while to stabilize," Baliga said.

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