Entities of India's Adani pledge more stake in ports arm

Inauguration ceremony after the Adani Group completed the purchase of Haifa Port
Indian billionaire Gautam Adani speaks during an inauguration ceremony after the Adani Group completed the purchase of Haifa Port earlier in January 2023, in Haifa port, Israel January 31, 2023. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

BENGALURU, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Entities of billionaire Gautam Adani on Tuesday pledged more shares of the conglomerate's port unit as security to lenders, an exchange filing showed, amid a rout in the group's stocks following a scathing short-seller attack.

Emerging Market Investment and Flourishing Trade and Investment pledged a 2.69% stake in the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSE.NS) to Catalyst Trusteeship, which acted as a security trustee on behalf of lenders, the filing showed.

The total stake pledged by the entities in Adani Ports is now 7.79%. Earlier on Tuesday, another disclosure showed Flourishing Trade and Investment had pledged 0.56% stake in the company.

Shares of Adani Ports have plunged about 20% since Hindenburg Research's report on Jan. 24 alleging improper use of offshore tax havens and concerns about high debt. Seven listed group companies lost $65 billion in the rout.

Adani has called the claims baseless.

Around 17% of promoters' stake in Adani Ports was pledged as of December-end, according to stock exchange data. Promoters hold over 65% stake in the company.

Bloomberg News reported that Adani on Friday added about $300 million worth of shares to maintain its collateral cover for a loan made by a group of banks including Barclays Plc, after the steep selloff in shares.

Adani did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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