MSCI to cut weighting of four Adani firms after Hindenburg report
The US-based stock index complier’s cut includes Adani Enterprises, the flagship firm of the group led by Indian billionaire Gautam Adani.
The United States-based stock index complier MSCI says it will cut the weightings of four Adani Group companies, including its flagship firm Adani Enterprises, in its indexes after reassessing the number of shares freely traded.
The move comes in the wake of a January 24 report by the US short-seller Hindenburg Research, which accused the Indian conglomerate of improper use of offshore tax havens and stock manipulation. The group has denied any wrongdoing.
The Hindenburg report has plunged the group, led by billionaire Gautam Adani, into crisis, wiping some $110bn off the value of its main seven listed firms.
In addition to Adani Enterprises – the group’s coal-miner-cum-incubator for new projects, MSCI also plans to cut the weightings for Adani Total Gas – a venture with France’s TotalEnergies and Adani Transmission, a power transmission company.
It will also reduce the weighting of ACC, a leading Indian cement company the Adani Group acquired from Holcim last year and which is not one of the group’s main seven listed firms.
Adani Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters news agency on Friday.
The four companies had a combined 0.4 percent weighting in the MSCI emerging markets index as of January 30. The changes come into effect on March 1.
“The lower free float will require passive investors to sell stock to reduce their tracking error with the index,” said Brian Freitas, a Periscope Analytics analyst who publishes on Smartkarma.
“There could be selling from active investors before that as they try to sell before the passives.”