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Adani shares plunge after botched $2.5 bln share sale

2023-02-02T04:03:27Z

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani addresses delegates during the Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata, India April 20, 2022. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Shares in India’s Adani group of companies plunged on Thursday after the tycoon Gautam Adani-led conglomerate shelved a $2.5 billion share sale amid a turbulent market, citing the need to insulate investors from potential losses.

Adani on Wednesday called off the share sale as a rout sparked by a U.S. short-seller’s criticisms wiped billions more off the value of the Indian tycoon’s stocks.

Shares in Adani Enterprises (ADEL.NS) dropped 8%, after opening 10% higher, while Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSE.NS) fell 10%.

Adani Total Gas (ADAG.NS) was down 10%, Adani Power (ADAN.NS) lost 5%, Adani Wilmar (ADAW.NS) sank 5% while Adani Green Energy (ADNA.NS) tumbled 10%.

The withdrawal of the Adani Enterprises (ADEL.NS) share marked a stunning setback for Adani, the school dropout-turned-billionaire whose fortunes rose rapidly in recent years in line with the stock values of his businesses.

“Today the market has been unprecedented, and our stock price has fluctuated over the course of the day. Given these extraordinary circumstances, the company’s board felt that going ahead with the issue will not be morally correct,” Adani said late on Wednesday.

Citigroup’s (C.N) wealth unit has stopped extending margin loans to its clients against securities of Adani group, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Citi declined to comment.