On Wednesday, the fortune of Gautam Adani, the wealthiest Asian in the world, took a significant hit of $5.5 billion following accusations of fraud made by a US short-seller. New York-based Hindenburg Research alleged in a report that the Adani Group had been engaged in a “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme” for many years. These allegations were said to have pushed up stock prices in seven key listed companies under the Adani Group, thereby increasing the industrialist’s net worth by over $100 billion in a three-year period.
Adani, who is the chairman and founder of India-based conglomerate Adani Group, had recently gained significant attention for his rapidly increasing net worth, which had grown by over 50% in 2022 according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. At the start of the year, he was ranked 14th on the index, but by December 29, he had surpassed Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to become the third-richest person in the world, ending the year with a fortune of $121 billion. However, following the Hindenburg report, his net worth has dropped to $113 billion.
Jugeshinder Singh, the CFO of Adani Group, denied the allegations made by Hindenburg, calling the report “a malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations.” Despite this, shares in Adani’s listed businesses fell after the report was released, with Adani Enterprises falling as much as 3.7% and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone shares dropping as much as 7%.
Although Adani’s net worth has taken a hit, he remains the wealthiest person in Asia and the fourth-richest person in the world, following LVMH boss Bernard Arnault, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos. A request for comment from Insider sent via the Adani Group did not receive an immediate response from Adani himself.