BENGALURU: The Indian government has told the country’s top court that the “truthfulness” of allegations made by a United States short seller against the Adani Group should be examined, according to a government filing seen by Reuters.

The Supreme Court is yet to issue an order on setting up a panel proposed to examine investor protection mechanisms in the wake of Hindenburg Research’s Jan 24 report.

Seven listed firms of the Adani Group have shed about US$125 billion in market value since the report which alleged improper use of tax havens and stock manipulation by the ports-to-energy conglomerate.

The Adani Group has denied wrongdoing.

Any panel should “have all the powers to undertake an effective investigation … including every authority and powers to avail all assistance and protocols for its investigation outside India,” the government told the top court on Friday (Feb 17).

The panel should “ascertain and submit a report regarding the truthfulness or otherwise of the allegations made against (the) Adani group of companies”.

It should also examine the legality of Hindenburg’s short positions on Adani Group’s debt and equity instruments, the government filing said.

During a hearing on Friday, the government said that its suggestions should be kept under sealed cover, but the court said it wants to maintain full transparency on the setting up of the panel.

India’s markets regulator told the top court earlier this week that it was looking into the short seller’s allegations and into market activity immediately before and after the report.

Asia Index said on Friday that it would drop Adani’s two recent cement acquisitions – Ambuja Cements and ACC – from the S&P BSE 100 ESG Index from Feb 22.

The Adani Group has sought to allay investor concerns.

The Economic Times newspaper reported on Friday that the conglomerate plans to completely pre-pay all loans against shares over the next 20 days.

The Adani Group did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the report.

The group’s renewable energy arm, Adani Green Energy , plans to disclose its refinancing plan after the fiscal year ends, an executive of the group told bondholders on a call on Thursday, sources told Reuters.

Avinash Gorakshakar, head of research at Profitmart Securities, said that the refinancing plans were positive for sentiment, but the group’s stocks would continue to remain volatile.

“What we’ll need to know is how they are going to fund their future growth plans. Fresh funding is not going to come easy,” he said.

Adani Green Energy bonds due in 2024 and offering a 4.375 per cent coupon jumped on Thursday to US$0.84 on the dollar from US$0.75 a day earlier, Tradeweb data showed.

Adani Green shares closed up 2 per cent on Friday, after losing nearly 70 per cent since the Jan 24 report. Adani Power climbed 5 per cent, while Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone ended up 0.25 per cent.

Adani Group’s flagship firm, Adani Enterprises, closed down 4.1 per cent, while Adani Total Gas shares, which have been hit the hardest by the report, ended down 5 per cent. 

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