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Indian shares sink; Adani Group stocks plunge to lower circuit


A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Indian shares fell more than 1% to an over three-month low on Friday as some Adani Group companies plunged 20% and hit their lower circuits in the wake of a short-seller attack on the conglomerate, which also dragged down financials.

The Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) was down 1.68% at 17,591.25 as of 1:23 p.m. IST, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) fell 1.51% to 59,294.20.

The indexes have slid more than 2% each in the truncated week, triggered by U.S. short-seller Hindenburg Research’s report on Wednesday that flagged concerns about the Adani Group’s debt levels and use of tax havens.

Stocks of the Adani Transmission (ADAI.NS), Adani Green Energy (ADNA.NS) tumbled 20% each, while Adani Power (ADAN.NS) dropped 5%, with all three stock hitting their lower circuit.

Adani Ports and Adani Enterprises (ADEL.NS) were the worst performers on the Nifty 50, plunging more than 20% each.

Adani Enterprises was trading at 2,877.10 rupees, well below the lower end of the price band for its $2.45 billion follow-on public offering (FPO).

“The selloff is seriously extreme in the sense that day before yesterday Adani Group stocks saw a huge fall in market cap and today the same kind of episode is repeated,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice-president, research, SMC Global Securities.

“It has clearly dented overall investor sentiment. The nervousness has led to a fall in stocks across the board. When a selloff of this kind of magnitude is seen in a very short span of time, investors sell other stocks where they are in the money.”

Financials sector (.NIFTYFIN) led the slide, falling 2.8% even though brokerages said banks’ exposure to the Adani Group was within manageable limits.

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