India’s Market Regulator Seeks More Time to Complete Adani Investigation

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India’s market regulator on Monday sought 15 more days to complete an investigation into conglomerate Adani’s dealings with some offshore entities, while shares in the group’s firms slid after the unexpected exit of a key business unit’s auditor.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which is due to submit its report on Monday, said it had finishing looking into 17 out of the 24 transactions it had taken up for investigation.

The regulator said in a filing to the Supreme Court that it had made substantial progress in the investigation, but due to pending probes on certain transactions it would be in the “interest of justice” to be given more time to file the final report.

The Adani Group’s listed companies lost more than $100 billion in market value this year after the US-based Hindenburg Research raised several governance concerns. The group has denied wrongdoing.

The Supreme Court asked the SEBI to look into the allegations and submit its findings to a six-member panel formed in March, which included a retired judge and veteran bankers.

Shares of the Adani Group’s companies slid 3 per cent to 5 per cent on Monday after Deloitte resigned as auditor of Adani Ports, the first such move at the Gautam Adani-led conglomerate since Hindenburg’s report on the company in January.

Adani Ports said Deloitte, which does not audit any of the other six listed Adani Group companies, had all the necessary information and its reason for quitting was “not convincing”.

Reuters has asked the Adani Group for comment on the court development.

In its filing, the SEBI did not offer details about the transactions under investigation or the nature of any possible breaches.

In four of the findings under investigation, “findings have been crystallised and the reports prepared”, the SEBI said.

It said it had sought more information from other regulators and foreign jurisdictions to plan a further course of action.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case on August 29.

The court-appointed panel has said the regulator has so far drawn a blank in its investigations and its pursuit of the case is a “journey without a destination”.

However, it gave the regulator more time to complete its investigation.

The panel also questioned whether the SEBI’s revised rules for reporting beneficial owners of offshore funds hurt its own investigation.

The regulator, in a filing in July, defended its rules.

Source : N Business