Rajiv Jain, one of the biggest names in emerging market investing, bought nearly $2 billion worth of Adani Group shares last month.
Now the chief investment officer of GQG Partners Inc has a big prediction for his bet on the struggling Indian conglomerate: a more than 100% return.
“Those could be multiple factors in five years,” Jayne said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. The term comes from a book by mutual fund manager Peter Lynch that describes investments that can at least double.
The Florida-based company has become the most high-profile champion of billionaire Gautam Adani’s battered empire. Adani Group lost as much as $153 billion in market value after a US short-seller accused it of price manipulation and fraud in a report earlier this year.
But the allegations, denied by the Adani Group, did not deter Jain. The veteran investor, who is of Indian descent but works in Fort Lauderdale, often opposes what he calls “comfort investing,” where decisions are made by committees rather than taking risks on undervalued public stocks.
Jain said the value of Adani Group lies in its assets. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is eyeing tycoons like Adani, once Asia’s richest man, to improve the country’s infrastructure and lure manufacturing from places like China. Many of Adani Group’s projects are tied to India’s development goals and cut across multiple economic sectors.
Jain singled out Adani’s coal mine assets, data centres and a majority stake in Mumbai’s busy international airport as signs of a healthy business.
“We believe the airport itself could be worth more than the company,” Jain told Bloomberg, noting that the land alone spans some of Asia’s most expensive urban real estate.
GQG Partners has a diversified portfolio. The firm manages over $90 billion in assets, investing in oil, tobacco and banking. Jain said he was unfazed after a Jan. 24 Hindenburg Research report detailed fraud across the Adani group, accusing the group of “carrying out one of the largest con in corporate history.” GQG bought stakes in four Adani companies from the family trust in March.
Hindenburg’s report read like a “10-year-old newspaper,” Jain said. In 30 years of investing, “I haven’t come across a perfect company,” he said.
One of Hindenburg’s allegations is that the group used a labyrinth of offshore accounts linked to the family to circumvent the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s requirement that public shareholders own at least 25% of the shares. Adani has denied the claims.