India market regulator seeks 6-month extension to complete Adani probe – document

India market regulator seeks 6-month extension to complete Adani probe – document

29 Apr    Finance News, PMN Business, REU

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MUMBAI — India’s market regulator has asked for a six-month extension to complete its probe into possible lapses in securities market laws and regulatory disclosures by billionaire Gautam Adani’s Adani group, according to a court document seen by Reuters.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) filed its request with the Supreme Court on Saturday, citing complex transactions involving the conglomerate’s listed, unlisted and offshore entities that require deeper investigations.

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SEBI and the Adani group did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The Supreme Court asked the regulator to conduct an inquiry into Adani after U.S.-based short-seller Hindenburg Research raised concerns around its governance practices in a January report.

The group, whose main business is infrastructure, has said Hindenburg’s report was baseless and called its allegations “unsubstantiated speculations.”

The court had given the regulator until May 2 to submit its report.

In its application, the regulator said it needed more time “to conduct a proper investigation and arrive at verified findings.”

It is investigating alleged breach of related party transaction rules, public shareholding norms and share price manipulation.

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Related party transaction rules lay down practices to be followed when two connected parties are involved in a transaction, while public shareholding norms set out the minimum shareholding of an exchange-listed company required to be held by the public.

SEBI in its application said that further investigations are necessary in cases where preliminary findings point to violations of securities laws.

The application does not disclose details of the violations.

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The regulator said that it had received information from several Adani group entities. However, this needs to be independently verified and additional information has been sought from offshore regulators, since some of the transactions under scrutiny involve offshore entities, it said in the court document.

(Reporting by Jayshree P. Upadhyay in Mumbai and Arpan Chaturvedi in Delhi; editing by Clelia Oziel)

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