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Hindenburg Report Buried, SC says no more probes

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The never ending drama of Adani-Hindenburg has finally come to an end. It is a  major relief for the Adani Group, and the allegations are now seeing a ray of light after the Supreme Court’s verdict. A year-long of accusations, investigations, and market volatility culminated on January 3, 2024, as the Supreme Court of India delivered its verdict in the Adani Group case. This landmark decision, spanning over 120 pages, offered a definitive chapter in the narrative surrounding the Indian conglomerate and its alleged financial irregularities.

The Court's decision stands as a significant relief for the Adani Group, absolving it of the need for further investigations beyond the ongoing scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). This ongoing investigation, initiated in February 2023 following a scathing report by Hindenburg Research, has already concluded in 20 of its 22 cases. However, the remaining two cases, focused on specific financial transactions, have been directed to be concluded within three months, by April 2024.

The Supreme Court said SEBI has completed investigations in 20 out of 22 matters. Taking into account the assurance of the Solicitor General, we direct SEBI to complete the investigation in the other two cases, preferably within three months’.

The Court also rejected a plea for transferring the inquiry to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into allegations of violations of securities laws by the Adani Group. The verdict also upholds the existing regulatory framework, dismissing pleas to revoke amendments made to Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) and Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements (LODR) regulations in 2023.

Hindenburg Report and Third-Party Sources

The Supreme Court issued a caution regarding investigations, emphasizing the need for due diligence and verification before relying solely on news reports or information compiled by third-party entities like the Organized Crime Corruption Reporting (OCCRP).

The verdict has also directed the government and SEBI to examine whether the short-selling activities undertaken by Hindenburg Research violated Indian laws. This directive, while not implying any predetermined conclusion, ensures that potential infractions are not overlooked and that appropriate action is taken if necessary.

Important conclusions from the Supreme Court's ruling on the SEBI investigation

The biggest conglomerate, Adani Group, lost almost tens of billions of dollars in market value last year when the news broke through Hindenburg's research report. The report found that Adani Group engaged in brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud.

After the court’s verdict, the Adani Group chairman, Gautam Adani, expressed his gratitude on a social media platform.

Market Reaction

Following the Supreme Court's dismissal of the Hindenburg report on the Adani Group, the share prices of the Adani Group soared in the early trading hours of Wednesday. Following the week, the market reaction to the verdict looked mixed.

‘With two cases left for the Adani Group, seems a new chapter has now begun’

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