Download Unicorn Signals App

Powered By EquityPandit
 Signals, Powered By  EquityPandit

Goldman Sachs Cuts Adani Group Stake from its ESG Fund

The investment arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc has significantly reduced its exposure to Adani Group in its ESG portfolio.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s investment arm slashed its exposure to Adani Group in its ESG portfolio in the weeks after short-seller Hindenburg Research accused Adani Group of fraud.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs funds, registered under EU rules to promote environmental, social and governance objectives, sold about 11.7 million Adani shares in February. After the retreat, data showed Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s actively managed ESG funds’ exposure to Adani was limited to about 400,000 shares in Ambuja Cements Ltd.

Other asset managers that have dropped Adani from ESG funds include Northern Trust Corp and Storebrand ASA, according to Bloomberg data, which excludes exchange-traded funds and is based on an analysis of the latest available filings. In total, 13 actively managed ESG funds reduced their holdings in the group, selling a total of 12 million Adani Group shares, with Goldman Sachs having the largest sale in Bloomberg data.

Adani is trying to tap the market after Hindenburg Research released a report on January 24 accusing the group of market manipulation and fraud, which will mark a major milestone for the group. Adani, who has repeatedly dismissed claims by short sellers after the Hindenburg report wiped more than $100 billion off the market value of his empire, is now trying to rebuild ties with financial markets.

Adani Enterprises Ltd and Adani Transmission Ltd will seek to raise a total of up to $2.6 billion, according to separate documents dated May 13. Both companies still need shareholder approval for the deal.

“Goldman Sachs cutting Adani Group’s stake from ESG funds and Adani Group companies now seeking to raise capital are two entirely different events,” an Adani spokesman said by email. “The former relates to the sale of equity interests in the secondary market, where the group or group companies have no role. The latter, on the other hand, relates to the terms of activation of the main issue of financing of the two group entities Adani Enterprises Ltd and Adani Transmission Ltd. We do not expect the former to have any change or impact on our funding plans, as the two events are completely unrelated.”

Overall, the number of ESG funds, including ETFs, that directly hold Adani companies fell to 59 from 90 in early February, according to Bloomberg data. Including indirect holdings, the number of ESG funds exposed to Adani remained largely unchanged at just over 500.

Adani won a vote of confidence from major investors in March after GQG Partners bought a combined $1.9 billion stake in the group’s four companies. Even some ESG-registered funds, Bloomberg data determined, have seen a total of eight funds increase their exposure to Adani since Hindenburg’s report.

Adani has been dropped from many key indices and rankings since the fraud allegations were announced in late January. Adani Transmission, whose shares have plunged nearly 70% this year, will be removed from MSCI Inc’s India index at the end of this month. According to lists updated earlier this month on the websites of the country’s two largest exchanges, the company will also be removed from a list of companies designated locally for so-called additional monitoring measures, along with Adani Green and Adani Total Gas Ltd.

The Science Based Targets initiative, an UN-backed group aimed at helping companies establish credible net-zero targets, has removed three Adani companies from the green investor’s watch list. The decision means Adani Green, Adani Transmission and Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd are no longer listed as companies “taking action” to reduce emissions in line with the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Get Daily Prediction & Stocks Tips On Your Mobile