New Delhi, February 4
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday dismissed the withdrawal of Adani Enterprises’ follow-on public offer (FPO) as of “little consequence” and said the meltdown of the group had not impact the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals or its reputation.
Passing the onus of probing the group’s alleged misdoings on the regulatory bodies, she said, “FPOs come and go. Such fluctuations are there in every market. But the fact that we have seen $8 billion entering the economy these last few days proves that the perception about India and its inherent strength is intact. Public sector financial institutions such as the RBI, LIC, SBI and PNB have already stated that they have very little exposure to Adani stocks.”
Addressing a press conference in Mumbai amid reports that the Adani Group has postponed its Rs 1,000 crore bond issue following the tanking of shares of its companies, she asked, “How many times have FPOs been withdrawn from this country and how many times has the image of India suffered because of that and how many times have the FPOs not come back?”
On allegations of fraud against the group, the Finance Minister said, “It will be the regulators who will do their job. For keeping the markets regulated and in prime condition, SEBI is the authority and it has the wherewithal to keep that prime condition intact.”
“As a result, investor confidence which existed before shall continue even now. Our regulators are normally very-very stringent about governance practices and therefore, one instance, much-talked about globally it may be, is not going to be indicative of how well financial markets are governed,” Sitharaman said.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which has kept mum for the past week, in a statement, said it “seeks to maintain orderly and efficient functioning of the market and has put in place a set of well-defined, publicly available surveillance measures to address excessive volatility in specific stocks”.
SEBI did not give any indication of a probe, but merely said, “In all specific entity related matters, if any information comes to notice, the same is examined and appropriate action is taken.” Several Opposition leaders as well as experts have questioned SEBI for its silence and sought a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the matter.
Meanwhile, Union Finance Secretary TV Somanathan on Saturday stood by his comment where he called it “a storm in a teacup”. Apparently responding to a tweet by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh that the official had accepted that the Adani saga was a “storm” albeit in a tea cup, Somanathan clarified his comments were in the context of macroeconomic terms and the stability of India’s public financial institutions.
Three firms on radar
- Adani Enterprises, Adani Ports, Ambuja Cements under addl surveillance measure (ASM)
- Mechanism gets triggered under certain conditions of price volatility in a stock: SEBI
- It means intra-day trading in these stocks will require a 100 per cent upfront margin
- The move by market regulator aims at curbing speculation and short-selling in these stocks
Oppn not given time to raise issue in Parliament: Cong
The Opposition has not been given even a minute to raise the Adani issue in Parliament, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday, hitting back at Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur who said the government had nothing to hide on the matter.
Regulator to keep markets intact
For keeping the markets in prime condition, regulators will do their job... SEBI is the authority and it has the wherewithal to keep markets intact. Nirmala Sitharaman, FM
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