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BENGALURU: India’s Adani Group is planning to hire one of the “big six” accounting firms to assess its corporate governance and audit practices following allegations of fraud by short-selling firm Hindenburg, Mint newspaper reported on Monday (Jan 30).

The audit will be commissioned after the group’s unit, Adani Enterprises Ltd, completes a follow-on public offering, and based on its findings legal options will be sought, Mint reported, citing two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

“The audit will include eight of the group’s listed firms. The independent audit report will be presented to the board, and basis the findings, the matter be taken to the court if the board of Adani Enterprises decides so,” the newspaper quoted one of the sources as saying.

The audit will include a review of certain related party transactions, accounting practices and compliance with corporate governance standards at the firms, the report said, adding that it will also attempt to check whether Hindenburg’s allegations are correct.

Adani did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment outside regular business hours.

Separately, Indian bourse National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) revised the circuit limits on Adani Transmission Ltd, Adani Total Gas Ltd and Adani Green Energy Ltd to 10% from 20%, according to the bourse’s website on Monday.

These limits are set by the exchange to prevent large movements in the price of stocks in a very short time.

The research report by Hindenburg last week accused the conglomerate of improper use of offshore tax havens and flagging concerns about high debt, eroding US$65 billion (RM276 billion) of the group’s combined market value.

Adani on Sunday issued a 413-page rebuttal to the Hindenburg report, saying it complies with all local laws and had made the necessary regulatory disclosures.

Adani Enterprises’ US$2.5 billion secondary share sale, launched on Jan 27, closed its second day amid weak investor sentiment. The stock closed at 2,892.85 rupees (RM150.51), 7% below the 3,112 rupees lower end of the offer price band. The upper band is 3,276 rupees. – Reuters

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