India’s market regulator met with ratings agencies to discuss Adani Group companies, according to people familiar with the matter, after a short-seller’s scathing report eroded more than $69 billion of the conglomerate’s stock market value.
Assessors including Crisil Ltd., the local arm of S&P Global Ratings, made a presentation to the Securities and Exchange Board of India in recent days, said the people, who declined to be identified as the discussions were private.
The finances of companies backed by Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest man, have come into focus after short seller Hindenburg Research accused the group of corporate malpractice. But there has been no suggestion it would struggle to make debt payments or that the meeting with ratings agencies is more than routine dialog.
SEBI asked about the maturity profile of Adani Group debts, its liquidity, the founder’s leverage and the overall rating process, some of the people said. The ratings firms did not express concern or say a revision was pending, they added.
A SEBI circular from 2017 instructed assessors to review a rating after a “significant decline” in a company’s stock or bond price, not linked to the general swings in the market.
The Adani Group’s chief financial officer has termed Hindenburg’s allegations “baseless and discredited.” Even so, the companies’ shares and bonds have dropped.
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A spokesperson for SEBI didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment when contacted by telephone. Crisil said it had “no specific comments” for now, adding its discussions with regulators were confidential and that it regularly monitored developments.
ICRA Limited declined to comment. The press departments of India Ratings and Research Private Limited and CareEdge Ratings didn’t respond Bloomberg’s request for comment.