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Several Adani Group companies facing SEBI, DRI probe, minister tells Parliament

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Union minister of state for finance Pankaj Chaudhary on Monday informed the Parliament that several companies of the Adani Group are currently facing probe by market regulator—Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)—and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). The minister, however, clarified that the companies are not being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Notably, questions regarding the Adani Group were raised by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra.

What Centre said

In a written response, the minister said, “SEBI is investigating some Adani Group companies with regard to compliance with SEBI regulations. Further, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence is investigating certain entities belonging to the Adani Group of Companies under laws administered by it.”

Chaudhary also said, “As far as investigation under Income Tax Act, 1961, is concerned, disclosure of information regarding specific taxpayer is prohibited except as provided under Section 138 of Act. No such investigation is going on in the Enforcement Directorate (ED).”

TMC MP Mahua Moitra had also asked the ministry to provide details of “ultimate beneficial ownership of FPIs” owning a stake in Adani group companies. She had also asked if FPIs or Adani entities were under probe by SEBI, IT, ED, DRI, MCA for suspicious transactions.

The TMC MP had questioned, “Whether it is a fact that three funds namely, Albula Investment Fund, Cresta Fund and APMS Investment Fund, are in the SEBI frozen list of May and June 15, but a clarification is issued by NSDL that these accounts are not frozen in the case of Adani companies?”

The minister responded to the query in the affirmative. Chaudhary said, “In a matter pertaining to issuances of global depository receipt (GDR) by certain Indian listed companies, SEBI vide Order dated June 16, 2016, had directed depositories to freeze particular beneficiary accounts of certain FPIs, including Albula Investment Fund Ltd, Cresta Fund Ltd, and APMS Investment Fund Ltd.”

Stocks decline

As the news related to the minister’s response spread, six companies of Adani Group that are listed on Indian stock exchanges ended the day in the red. The group’s holding company Adani Enterprises Limited declined by 1.26% to Rs 1,377.95. Adani Ports declined by 2.00% to Rs 673.85, Adani Green Energy declined by 3.63%, to Rs 972 and Adani Power declined by 3.27% to Rs 102.20.

Similarly, Adani Total Gas declined by 4.63% to Rs 855 and Adani Transmission declined by 4.77% to Rs 968.05.

What Adani Group said

An Adani Group spokesperson said, “We have always been transparent with all our regulators and have full faith in them. While we have always been fully compliant with applicable SEBI regulations, we have made full disclosure to SEBI on specific information requests from them in the past. However, we have not received any communication or information requests recently.”

With regard to the DRI matter, it issued a show cause notice to Adani Power, about 5 years back, the spokesperson added. Subsequently, DRI passed an order in favour of Adani Power confirming that there is no over-valuation of equipment. The department has approached the Tribunal and the matter stands sub judice now, the spokesperson further said.

 

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