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Modi’s narrow victory wipes $25 billion from Adani’s wealth in worst single-day defeat

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(Bloomberg) — Before Gautam Adaniis a disappointing election victory for Narendra Modi’s party worse than a short-seller attack.

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The Indian tycoon’s wealth plummeted by nearly $25 billion on Tuesday, the biggest single-day loss for an Asian billionaire ever, after the Modi-led political alliance failed to achieve the election victory predicted by exit polls.

All ten shares of Adani Group plummeted, wiping out nearly $45 billion of the group’s market value. It was the biggest single-day defeat the $189 billion conglomerate has faced, dwarfing Hindenburg Research’s allegations of corporate malfeasance more than a year ago.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Adani’s wealth loss was the fourth-largest single-day decline ever, caused by market swings. The steep loss, surpassed only by Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, made Adani Asia’s richest person and left his fortune at $97.5 billion.

On Monday, bullish exit polls for Modi increased Adani Group’s market value by $20 billion.

Adani’s rapid decline from one of the year’s biggest wealth generators is a stark reminder that investors see his conglomerate’s fortunes as tied to Modi’s mandate as India’s leader. The Adani Group and its founder have maintained that they have no improper relationship with the government and can implement their ambitious infrastructure projects under any administration.

Nevertheless, Adani knows he is a major opponent in India’s elections, with opposition leaders regularly invoking his name at campaign rallies and Modi himself unexpectedly accusing his rivals of receiving illegal money from the billionaire at one point in the long campaign.

A group of advisers has asked the tycoon not to post on social media about the early election results, a person familiar with the matter said, advising him to remain quiet until the new federal government is formed.

The Adani Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Both Modi and Adani hail from the western Indian state of Gujarat and have grown along similar lines, with the tycoon’s sprawling businesses closely aligned with Modi’s national priorities in infrastructure, green energy, defense and digital services.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. and Adani Energy Solutions Ltd. led the losses, with shares plunging 21% and 20% respectively. Flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd. fell 19% on Tuesday.

While this was the steepest single-day stock drop for the Adani group, total losses in the aftermath of the Hindenburg attack were greater last year, exceeding $150 billion at their peak. The group had regained almost all of that value as of Monday’s close.

More broadly, India’s NSE Nifty 50 Index fell 5.9% on Tuesday, its worst day in more than four years, as investors worried that a small victory for the Modi-led coalition could undermine the new government’s ability to implement reforms would hinder implementation.

–With help from Jack Witzig.

(Reshuffles with Adani’s wealth falling everywhere)

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