On Monday, 19 July, the government apprised the parliament that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is investigating the Adani Group over non-compliance with securities rules.
Junior Finance Minister Pankaj Chaudhary told the Parliament that besides the central market's regulator, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is also probing "certain entities" of Adani Group for compliance with other local laws.
However, a spokesperson for the business group said that they have always been transparent with the regulator.
The minister offered no other information regarding the probes and did not name the companies being investigated.
Shares Drop for a Second Day
Consequently, the firms controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani saw a drop in their shares for a second day Tuesday, 20 July.
In early trading, shares of six listed firms, namely, Adani Total Gas, Adani Transmission, Adani Green Energy and Adani Power decreased by 5 per cent.
Flagship Adani Enterprises declined by as much as 3.2 per cent, while Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone came down by 2.6 per cent, on the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex during trading, Bloomberg reported.
What is the Probe?
The remarks in the parliament come because of a National Securities Depository Limited’s (NSDL) report in June, which said that three foreign fund accounts – all of which are among the top stakeholders in the Adani firms – were frozen owing to inadequate disclosures, causing a dip in their shares.
However, in a statement later, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited said that reports of NSDL’s action are “blatantly erroneous and done to deliberately mislead the investing community”, ANI reported.
As per the government statement, the funds belonging to the three accounts had no restrictions, except for a 2016 order that only applied to issuances of global depository receipts by certain Indian listed companies, Bloomberg reported.
Meanwhile, the DRI probe relates to a five-year-old showcause notice to the Adani group of companies, when the federal agency observed that there was "no over-valuation of equipment" by Adani Power.
This ruling went on to be challenged in a tribunal and is sub-judice, Bloomberg reported.
Further, the junior finance minister did not inform if another probe by the federal income tax department was underway but stressed that the Enforcement Directorate was not looking into the matter.
What Adani Group Has Said
In an official statement on Monday, a spokesperson for the business conglomerate said, "We have always been transparent with all our regulators and have full faith in them."
The statement added that it has also ensured compliance with SEBI regulations and made complete disclosures on "specific information requests" in the past, Bloomberg reported.
However, the group added that no recent communication or information requests have been received from the market's regulator.
(With inputs from Bloomberg and ANI)