Asia’s Richest No Longer

  • February 14, 2023

By Julia Jun

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Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest man and the third richest person in the world, has lost nearly $90 billion from his business. As the founder and chairman of the conglomerate Adani Group, Adani grew his wealth through business in energy, transportation, food and coal mining industries. Over the years, the Adani Group has stated that it has, “positioned itself to be the market leader in its transport logistics and energy utility portfolio businesses focusing on large scale infrastructure development in India.” 

Recently, on January 24, Hindenburg Research, a tiny investment research firm, revealed the “Largest Con in Corporate History,” in its 100-page report. It detailed the unusual and suspicious events that have played a part in its corporation’s stocks increasing 200% over the last three years, remarking that it consisted of “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud [schemes] over the course of decades.” 

The report further stated that there have been multiple allegations of corruption and money laundering totaling nearly U.S $17 billion. Although there have been several attempts to investigate the corruption within the Adani Group, these efforts have apparently been hindered by the Indian government, which suggests that there is more that is yet to be uncovered. In response, the Adani Group released a 400-page rebuttal, arguing that Hinderburg’s report was an attack on India itself. 

Hindenburg responded that “fraud cannot be obfuscated by nationalism,” and that the Adani Group had ignored “every key allegation we raised.” While the Adani Group continues to raise opposition to Hindenburg’s reports, Hindenburg Research is trying their best to uncover the corruption that has been going on within the conglomerate group. 

This is not the first time that Hindenburg Research has accused a corporation of such allegations. In 2020, Hinderbrug Research made a report on Nikola’s ink partnerships with auto companies to catch up to Tesla. This resulted in the resignation of founder and previous Executive Chairman, Trevor Milton. According to CNN, Milton was later convicted by a “U.S. jury of fraud in a case alleging he lied to investors about the electric and hydrogen fuel cell company’s technology. The jury found Milton guilty on a count of securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud.” Does this mean that Gautam Adani’s position as the Chairperson will be threatened? As of now, it is not sure whether these allegations are true or not. Until there is a formal investigation, it will be difficult to determine whether there will be consequences for Adani and his company.

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