Adani group mcap regains USD 200 bn-mark as company rebuts coal invoicing allegations

Adani group mcap regains USD 200 bn-mark as company rebuts coal invoicing allegations

Mumbai | Adani Group's market capitalisation on Wednesday regained USD 200 billion-mark (Rs 16.9 lakh crore) after its listed firms gained Rs 11,300 crore as investors reposed faith on the company denying any wrongdoing in supply of coal to Tamil Nadu power company.

With Rs 11,300 crore gain on Wednesday, the apples-to-airport conglomerate gained Rs 56,250 crore in market capitalisation in the last two trading sessions, stock exchange data showed.

The gain came on a day when London-based Financial Times, citing documents from George Soros-backed Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in a report alluded to a fraud by Adani group by selling low grade coal as high value fuel in 2013.

While Adani group denied all allegations, the news report was cited by opposition leaders including former Congress president Rahul Gandhi to demand a probe by a joint parliamentary committee into the alleged wrongdoing.

A spokesperson for the group said the quality of the coal was independently tested at the point of loading and discharge, as well as by customs authorities and Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company (Tangedco) officials. "With the supplied coal having passed such an elaborate quality check process by multiple agencies at multiple points, clearly the allegation of supply of low-quality coal is not only baseless and unfair but completely absurd."

"Moreover, the payment is dependent on the quality of coal supplied, which is determined through the testing process," the spokesperson said, adding tests for quality of consignment in question had yielded results within permissible limits.

It went on to state that the vessel cited in the report to have carried the coal in December 2013 had in fact not been used for shipping coal from Indonesia before February 2014.

"The allegations are based only on the difference in the FOB and CIF price of coal, extrapolating it to the supply of low gross calorific value (GCV) coal, and are baseless conjectures and surmises. Not only are the two prices not comparable, but the procurement price itself is not relevant because the order of supply was a fixed price contract, with both the upside and downside to be borne by the supplier," it said.

The group termed as rehash of old allegations references in the report to DRI enquiry.

The inquiry into allegations of over valuation of Indonesia coal imports, it said, was initiated against 40 companies. "The Adani companies furnished details sought by the DRI more than four years ago. Thereafter, the DRI has not asked for further documents. Nor has the DRI communicated any deficiency or objection."

On allegations of middlemen being involved in the deal, the group said, "Adani Global Pte Ltd sources coal from people/firms/traders having requisite credentials and experience. This is because non-fulfilment of contractual obligations has financial and reputational implications for Adani as a supplier."

The report apparently had no impact on Adani group stocks.

"The markets have become relatively smarter. They weigh the quantum of the situation before giving their judgement," said Deven Choksey, managing director of DRChoksey FInserv. "In my point of view, fundamentals of Adani group companies are far stronger than what they were in 2014 and the group will emerge even stronger in 2034."

In the past one year, the group's market capitalization has increased by 56.6 per cent outperforming the broader market Nifty, which has gained 23.3 per cent during the same period.

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