Lessons from the Adani debacle

There are many red flags that investors need to watch

The main cause of the Adani empire crisis was a report by a New York-based activist short-seller called Hindenburg Research. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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Never before in corporate history has the net worth of a single individual fallen so much in one week. The chairman of India’s Adani Group, Mr Gautam Adani, lost US$52 billion (S$68 billion) between Jan 25 and Feb 1. And the market capitalisation of his group – until recently India’s second-largest conglomerate and biggest builder of infrastructure – crashed by more than US$100 billion over the period, from around US$218 billion.

How this dramatic story will evolve is a matter for speculation, but meanwhile, there are lessons to be learnt for investors.

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