MSCI to cut weighting of four Adani firms in wake of Hindenburg report By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO-A logo of the Adani Group is seen on a commercial complex in Mumbai, India, February 7, 2023. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

By Scott Murdoch and Rodrigo Campos

(Reuters) -Index provider MSCI said it will cut the weightings of four Adani Group companies, including flagship firm Adani Enterprises, in its indexes after reassessing the number of shares that are freely traded.

The move comes in the wake of a Jan. 24 report by U.S. short seller Hindenburg Research that has 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 $110 billion off the value of the group’s 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 major Indian cement company the Adani Group acquired from Holcim (SIX:) 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 on Friday.

The four companies had a combined 0.4% weighting in the MSCI emerging markets index as of Jan. 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.”

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