NEW DELHI: India's central bank has asked local banks for details of their exposure to the Adani group of companies, government and banking sources said on Thursday (Feb 2).
India's central bank and stock market regulator have sprung into action more than a week after US short-seller Hindenburg Research's report on the Adani Group spurred a rout in its shares, saying they were looking into irregularities and local bank exposures.
The Reserve Bank of India did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The sources were speaking to Reuters and declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Under-fire Indian tycoon Gautam Adani's empire has lost more than US$100 billion in value over the past week as shares in several firms plunged again on Thursday, a day after the group shelved a US$2.5 billion share sale amid a turbulent market, citing the need to insulate investors from potential losses.
Other listed companies of Adani's business empire were subject to trading halts after falling as much as 10 per cent at the open in Mumbai.
Among them is Adani Total Gas - in which French oil major TotalEnergies holds 37.4 per cent - which has now lost 52 per cent since Jan 1.
Further panic has seen big banks including Credit Suisse and Citigroup stop accepting Adani bonds as collateral for loans to private clients, according to Bloomberg News.
Adani's wipeout has the potential to broaden if it drives a bigger mood shift, said Sat Duhra, who manages a US$1 billion Asian dividend income fund at Janus Henderson Investors.
"The Indian stock market indices are driven in large part by a small group of companies and any change in sentiment and flows will have a disproportionate impact on indices as more liquid names are sold first," he said.
"We own less than 2 per cent in Indian equities and would need to see a serious correction before we considered adding, especially in light of the recent issues."