American short-seller Hindenburg Research has fired another salvo at Adani Group and it involves Vinod Adani, Gautam Adani’s older brother. Gautam Adani’s name appears 54 times in the extensive report published in late January. Vinod Adani, Gautam’s brother, is mentioned 151 times, more than anyone else.
According to an article published by Forbes exposing the hidden promises of Adani promoters: A private Singaporean entity controlled by Vinod Adani pledged Adani promoters holdings of $240 million in loans from a Russian bank. Zero disclosure of these promises to Indian exchanges.
The Adani Group denies improper links to the brother of its president. “Vinod Adani does not hold any management position in any of Adani’s listed entities or their subsidiaries and has no role in their day-to-day affairs,” the company wrote in its 413-page reply to Hindenburg, issued on January 29, 2023.
The Adani Group has “properly identified and disclosed” all transactions involving related parties, the Adani Group added.
The article claimed that Pinnacle Trade and Investment Pte. Lte., a Singapore company indirectly controlled by Vinod Adani, had signed a loan agreement with Russia’s state-owned VTB Bank in 2020, which was sanctioned by the US on last year because of the Ukrainian war.
As of April 2021, Pinnacle had borrowed $263 million and loaned $258 million to an unnamed related party. Later that year, Pinnacle offered two investment funds, Afro Asia Trade and Investments Limited and Worldwide Emerging Market Holding Limited, as guarantors for the loan, according to documents filed in Singapore, the article says.
Tim Buckley, director of Australia-based analysis firm Climate Energy Finance, which has studied the Adani Group and its plans to develop a coal mine in Australia, said “Gautam was the warm, caring and friendly public face of the partner, and Vinod the mastermind in the private tax haven, the true puppeteer”.
Who is Vinod Adani?
Vinod Shantilal Adani is a Dubai-based Indian billionaire businessman. As of the end of 2022, according to the Hurun India Rich List, he was described as the world’s richest non-resident Indian and the sixth richest Indian overall, with a fortune of ₹169,000 crore (US$20.42 billion).
Vinod has lived abroad for at least three decades. He earned a master’s degree in engineering in the US and then set up a textile business in Mumbai in 1976.
In the 1980s, Vinod bought a small packaging factory from plastic for $1,000, using his savings and a bank loan, and brought his younger brother Gautam to help run it. Vinod runs a business in Dubai, holds a Cypriot passport and is a permanent resident of Singapore.
It also owns 60 properties in tax havens, including the Bahamas, Mauritius, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, as well as the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
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