Millennium Post

While Adani cos’ scrips soar, shareholder counts decline

Share price of three listed firms of $8.7 billion Gujarat-based Adani group may be on a roll, but they have surprisingly recorded a dip in the number of their shareholders in the first quarter of 2014. The combined market value of the three listed firms — Adani Enterprises, Adani Power and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone — has grown by Rs 40,000 crore to Rs 1 lakh crore since the beginning of this year.

According to the latest shareholding data disclosed by these firms, the percentage holding of foreign institutional investors (FIIs) also rose in these companies during the quarter ended 31 March, 2014. However, the total number of their shareholders — including domestic and foreign investors — has declined for the same period.
The number of shareholders in Adani Ports declined from 2,99,082 in December quarter to 2,88,664 in January-March period. In Adani Power, the total number of shareholders came down to 2,50,732 from 2,59,476 in October-December quarter, while in Adani Enterprises it fell from 41,787 to 37,629.

In contrast, the FII holding in Adani Enterprises rose to 20.87 per cent from 20.77 per cent, while in Adani Power it went up to 6.84 per cent from 6.54 per cent. Similarly, overseas investors' ownership in Adani Ports rose from 17.38 per cent to 17.48 per cent.

Market experts have mostly attributed the recent rally in Adani stocks to various opinion polls giving an edge to BJP's Prime Ministerial Candidate Narendra Modi in the ongoing general elections. Modi is Gujarat Chief Minister and his opponents have accused him of favouring Adani group, a charge denied by the BJP leader as well as the business house. Adani Group chief Gautam Adani has said he got no special favours from Modi and his group has since 1993 acquired only barren waste land for infrastructure projects.

The ports-to-energy Adani Group began acquiring land near the coastal town of Mundra in Gujarat way back in 1993 and only one-third of the total landbank of 15,946 acres was acquired when Modi was Chief Minister, he said.

In his political meetings, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has been often talking about alleged largesse to industrialists like Adani to attack Modi. Besides, Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal has also been attacking Modi with similar charges.

Stocks of Ahmedabad-headquartered Adani Group, especially Adani Enterprises, have been on a roll, surging over three-fold, since the BJP announced Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on 13 September last year. The group's business interests in Gujarat include a port and thermal power project in Mundra.
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