Adani Group hires banks to hold bond investor calls after market rout

By Davide Barbuscia

NEW YORK (Reuters) -India’s Adani Group and two of its main subsidiaries caught up in a short-selling storm in recent weeks are to hold calls with bond investors on Feb. 16 and Feb. 21, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The planned calls follow a long-awaited credit report issued by the Indian conglomerate earlier this week that said its companies faced no material refinancing risk, or near-term liquidity issues.

Adani’s seven listed companies have together lost about $120 billion in market value since a Jan. 24 report by Hindenburg Research alleged the conglomerate improperly used offshore tax havens and manipulated stock, and flagged concerns over its high debt levels.

Adani has rejected the concerns and denied any wrongdoing.

According to the document sent to investors the call on Thursday for Adani Group will be attended by its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jugeshinder Singh and head of Group Corporate Finance Anupam Misra.

An Adani Green Energy call also on Thursday will involve its CFO Phuntsok Wangyal, and an Adani Transmission call next week will be attended by its CFO Rohit Soni and CFO of Adani Electricity Kunjal Mehta.

The calls are organised by Barclays, BNP PARIBAS, DBS Bank Ltd, Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, ING, MUFG, Mizuho, SMBC Nikko and Standard Chartered Bank, the document showed.

Adani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dollar-denominated bonds issued by Adani firms have dropped sharply after the Hindenburg report although they have pared some of those losses in recent days, with some investors differentiating between governance concerns around the conglomerate and the solvency of its operating companies.

“It looks (like) there are some corporate governance issues on Adani’s group level, but risks are under control for its operating companies, based on our analysis, and we are looking at short-term trading opportunities of these bonds,” said Sunny Jiang, head of fixed income investment with Haitong International Asset Management Ltd.

“I don’t think at this stage it’s a question of ability to pay, it’s more that it raises the question of governance at the company level, which at some point would need to be addressed,” said Sergei Strigo, co-head of emerging markets fixed income at Amundi, the French asset manager.

Rating agencies S&P Global and Moody’s this month revised their outlooks to negative from stable for some of the group’s companies, while index provider MSCI said it would cut the weightings of some Adani companies in its stock indexes.

(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia, Marc Jones, Karin Strohecker, Xie Yu, Jorgelina do Rosario; Editing by Caitlin Webber)