Billionaire Adani's flagship firm enters key India index in new boost

Adani Enterprises will join the NSE Nifty 50 Index, the most tracked stocks gauge in the country. PHOTO: REUTERS

MUMBAI - Adani Enterprises, the flagship company of Asia's richest man, Mr Gautam Adani, has become the second unit of his ports-to-power conglomerate to be included in one of India's key equity gauges as the group expands.

The firm will join the NSE Nifty 50 Index, the most tracked stocks gauge in the country, replacing Shree Cement, according to a statement on Thursday from the National Stock Exchange of India's index management firm. The changes, which are based on factors including free float market capitalisation, were expected and will be effective from Sept 30.

It is a boost for the billionaire, whose firms' weightings have been adjusted on the MSCI India Index in recent months. The group is surging ahead with a string of acquisitions even as some analysts flag concerns about its level of leverage.

The inclusion of Adani Enterprises on the Nifty 50 could result in a net inflow of around US$213 million (S$298.4 million) for the stocks counter, while Shree Cement will see an outflow of US$87 million, according to Edelweiss Securities analyst Abhilash Pagaria.

Shares of Adani Enterprises have risen 89 per cent this year, while all seven listed companies have rallied, led by a 310 per cent surge in Adani Power. The group has grown rapidly, announcing plans to push into multiple new businesses, including media, healthcare and digital services.

Mr Adani's aggressive expansion has raised concerns, with some analysts pointing to pressure on the conglomerate's credit metrics and cash flow.

Group firms Adani Green Energy and Adani Transmission have significantly higher average free float market capitalisation than the flagship firm, but will not be included in the Nifty Index. Trading into their stock derivatives is not yet allowed by India's exchanges, Mr Pagaria wrote in a note earlier this month. BLOOMBERG

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