- Both houses of parliament adjourned amid row
- Flagship Adani firm plunges 35% at one point
- Moody’s warns will find it harder to raise capital
NEW DELHI, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Financial contagion fears spread in India on Friday as the Adani Group’s crisis worsened, with ratings agency Moody’s warning the conglomerate may struggle to raise capital and S&P cutting the outlook on two of its businesses.
Chaotic scenes in both houses of India’s parliament led to their adjournment on Friday as some lawmakers demanded an inquiry after a dramatic meltdown in the stock market values of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s companies.
The crisis was triggered by a Hindenburg Research report last week in which the U.S.-based short-seller accused the Adani Group of stock manipulation and unsustainable debt.
Adani Group, one of India’s top conglomerates, has rejected the criticism and denied wrongdoing in detailed rebuttals, but that has failed to arrest the unabated fall in its shares.
In the latest sign of the crisis widening, India’s ministry of corporate affairs has begun a preliminary review of Adani Group’s financial statements and other regulatory submissions made over the years, two government officials told Reuters.
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Although shares in Adani companies recovered after sharp falls earlier on Friday, the seven listed firms have still lost about half their market value, totalling more than $100 billion since Hindenburg published its report on Jan. 24.
Moody’s warned the share plunge could hit the Adani Group’s ability to raise capital, although fellow credit ratings agency Fitch saw no immediate impact on its ratings.
“These adverse developments are likely to reduce the group’s ability to raise capital to fund committed capex or refinance maturing debt over the next 1-2 years. We recognise that a portion of the capex is deferrable,” Moody’s said.