Sunday, July 14, 2024

Senior lawyer hints at ‘Chinese link’ in Hindenburg’s attack on Adani Group


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Shillong, July 5: In a sensational claim, senior lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani has alleged that a businessman with Chinese links had commissioned the report by short-seller Hindenburg Research which led to shares of Adani Group companies taking a hit.


In a lengthy post on X social media platform, Jethmalani claimed that Mark Kingdon, the American businessman behind Kingdon Capital Management LLC, had hired Hindenburg to prepare a report on the Adani Group.


“Here’s a huge smoking gun in the sordid episode of the short sale of Adani shares by Hindenburg,” he posted on X.


“For those who want to learn about accomplished #Chinese spy #AnlaCheng who along with her husband #MarkKingdon hired #Hindenburg for a research report on #Adani, engaged the services of Kotak to facilitate a trading account to short sell Adani shares,” Jethmalani further said.


They “made millions of dollars from their short selling; who eroded Adani market cap enormously, with no thought for several Indian retail investors who they financially decimated through their nefarious design to promote Chinese strategic interests by destroying an Indian corporate competitor who had prevailed in many bids over the Chinese State in strategic international projects…,” the senior lawyer alleged.


Kingdon also approached Kotak’s international investment arm Kotak Mahindra Investments Limited (KMIL) to set up an offshore fund as well as offshore accounts to trade in Adani shares. This led to the creation of the Kotak India Opportunity Fund (KIOF).


Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued a show-cause notice to Hindenburg Research, Nathan Anderson and the entities of Mauritius-based foreign portfolio investor (FPI) Kingdon for trading violations in the scrip of Adani Enterprises Ltd, leading up to the Hindenburg report and thereafter.


An investigation by the markets regulator also exposed that Kotak Mahindra and Hindenburg conspired together to take short positions in Adani shares.


The “smoking gun” referred to by Jethmalani was his revelation that Kingdon’s wife Anla Cheng, a Chinese-American, who has a large shareholding in the Kingdon Master Fund, is a lobbyist for Chinese interests in the United States.


“She was the CEO of #SupChina a pro-China media corporate initiative which morphed into an entity called The China Project after a whistleblower accused SupChina of news subversion in China’s interest in a sworn statement before the US Congress,” the lawyer posted.


“#TheChinaProject shut down after calls for an investigation into its subversive activities by some US senators including having links with the Chinese Communist Party. The latter clearly has a bone to pick with the Adani group,” he added.


Jethmalani claimed that the actions of Cheng and Kingdon were prompted by the Adani Group thwarting Chinese interests in several parts of the globe, including outbidding Chinese players for the Haifa Port in Israel and coal projects near Sri Lanka’s Jaffna.


Jethmalani also posed three major questions.


“Who introduced the Kingdons to KMIL, what due diligence was conducted by KMIL regarding the Kingdons and did it participate in the short sell as a principal,” he asked.


The second question was whether all the Indian people, organisations and entities who helped Hindenburg knew about the short-selling plan and whether they benefited from it. Jethmalani specifically mentioned politicians, in an apparent dig at the opposition, which has used the Adani-Hindenburg issue to target the group and the government on several occasions.


The lawyer also asked whether these people and entities knew about the Chinese link.


Hindenburg had alleged that while markets regulator SEBI “seemingly tied itself in knots to claim jurisdiction over us, its notice conspicuously failed to name the party that has an actual tie to India: Kotak Bank, one of India’s largest banks and brokerage firms founded by Uday Kotak, which created and oversaw the offshore fund structure used by our investor partner to bet against Adani”.


Hindenburg claimed that the group “simply named the K-India Opportunities Fund and masked the name ‘Kotak’ with the acronym ‘KMIL'”.


Kotak Mahindra (International) Ltd, a unit of Kotak Mahindra Bank, replied, saying Hindenburg was never a client of the group’s K-India Opportunities Fund (KIOF) and Kotak Mahindra International Ltd (KMIL). (IANS)


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