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Adani Group Says Foreign Investors' Accounts Not Frozen

Shares of Adani group companies plunged on Monday after reports that the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) froze the accounts of the three foreign funds that are among the top stakeholders in the firms.

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Billionaire Gautam Adani's group on Monday said accounts of three Mauritius-based funds that own the port-to-energy conglomerate's stocks were not frozen and any reports suggesting the contrary were 'blatantly erroneous and misleading'.

Shares of Adani group companies plunged on Monday after reports that the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) froze the accounts of the three foreign funds that are among the top stakeholders in the firms.

While Adani group said all the accounts of its top shareholder funds were active, NSDL in an email to the group also confirmed their 'active' status.

Adani Enterprises, the conglomerate's flagship company, as also Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, Adani Green Energy Ltd, Adani Transmission Ltd, Adani Power and Adani Total Gas Ltd in identical filings to the stock exchanges said the reports of NSDL freezing accounts of Albula Investment Fund, Cresta Fund and APMS Investment Fund holding shares in the group firms were 'blatantly erroneous and is done to deliberately mislead the investing community.' 'This is causing irreparable loss of economic value to the investors at large and reputation of the group,' they said.

Given the seriousness of the issue and its consequential adverse impact on minority investors, 'we requested Registrar and Transfer Agent, with respect to the status of the Demat Account(s) of the aforesaid funds and have their written confirmation vide its e-mail dated 14th June, 2021, clarifying that the Demat Account(s) in which the aforesaid funds hold the shares of the company are not frozen,' the firms said.

NSDL in an email to Adani group said, 'the status of demat accounts mentioned in your trail email are held in 'Active' status in NSDL system'.

The NSDL website, however, showed the accounts of Albula Investment Fund, Cresta Fund and APMS Investment Fund -- which are registered at the same address in Port Louis -- as being frozen without citing a reason.

It listed Albula Investment Fund Ltd (PAN No. AAHCA3597Q), APMS Investment Fund Ltd (PAN No. AAECM5148A) and Cresta Fund Ltd (PAN No. AADCC2634A) as 'account level freeze'.

A source at the group, however, said the Registrar has in writing stated that the accounts that hold Adani group stocks have not been frozen. The accounts being shown has frozen on NSDL website are for different shareholdings.

The Demat Account which held Cresta Fund's 10.76 crore shares of the six listed Adani group firms and that of Albula Investment's 8.59 crore shares were 'Active'. APMS Investment Fund's account that had 15.52 crore shares of five firms (it did not have had shares of APSEZ) was also 'Active'.

The three funds feature among the top 12 investors and owned about 2.1 per cent to 8.91 per cent stakes in five Adani Group companies as of March 31, 2020, annual investor presentations show. The value of their holding in the five Adani group firms was valued at USD 7.78 billion before the stocks witnessed mayhem on Monday.

In a statement later, the ports-to-energy conglomerate said the FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) in question have been investors in Adani Enterprises Ltd for more than a decade.

'Demergers (which led to creation of separate firms holding businesses such as power, renewable and city gas) have resulted in the ownership mirroring in the portfolio companies,' it said.

'All our businesses were incubated by the Adani Enterprises Ltd. the flagship company, established in 1994, and during the last seven years Adani Ports, Adani Transmission, Adani Green Energy and Adani Gas Ltd were demerged and listed on Indian Exchanges,' it added.

The port business is with Adani Ports & Special Economic Zones Ltd while renewable firm Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL) has contracted capacity of 25 GW and is ranked the largest solar power developer in the world. Adani Transmission Ltd operates the largest private transmission network in India of over 17,000 ckm and Adani Total Gas Ltd has license to retail city gas in 38 geographical areas.

'Adani Enterprises Limited, continues to nurture new businesses such as airports, roads, data centre, solar manufacturing and offers immense value to the investors when these entities get listed separately,' the statement said.

The Adani Group portfolio continues to attract investors and strategic partners both at primary and secondary level.

'Adani portfolio continues its journey of exponential growth across all verticals thus ensuring immense value to its stakeholders. We urge all our stakeholders not to be perturbed by market speculations,' it said. 

(PTI)