(Reuters) - Short-seller Hindenburg Research said on Wednesday it holds short positions in India's Adani Group companies through U.S.-traded bonds and non-Indian-traded derivative instruments.
The seven listed companies of the Adani group, which is controlled by world's third richest man Gautam Adani, have an 85% downside on a fundamental basis due to sky-high valuations, Hindenburg said in the report.
"Key listed Adani companies have also taken on substantial debt, including pledging shares of their inflated stock for loans, putting the entire group on precarious financial footing," Hindenburg said.
An Adani spokesperson did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment on the report. The company has repeatedly dismissed debt concerns.
Adani Chief Financial Officer Jugeshinder Singh said on Jan. 21 "Nobody has raised debt concerns to us. No single investor has." Adani Enterprises, the flagship company of ports-to-energy conglomerate Adani Group, has said it will raise $2.5 billion in India's largest follow-on public offering due this Friday.
Shares of Adani Enterprises surged 125% in 2022, while other group companies, including power and gas units, rose over 100%.
Adani Group's total gross debt in the financial year ending March 31, 2022, rose 40% to 2.2 trillion rupees. CreditSights, part of the Fitch Group, described the group last September as "overleveraged" and said it had "concerns" over its debt.
While the report later corrected some calculation errors, CreditSights said it maintained concerns over leverage.
(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey and Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Dhanya Ann Thoppil)