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Adani’s Woes May “Open Door to Democratic Revival,” says George Soros

The aftermath of US short seller Hindenburg Research's attack on the company threatens to harm investor confidence in India

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

INDIA: George Soros, a billionaire philanthropist, thinks that the turmoil in business tycoon Gautam Andani’s empire will weaken India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, and “open a door” to a democratic revival in the country.

The attack on the company by US short-seller Hindenburg Research could hurt investor confidence in India, raise questions about the country’s regulatory system, and make people question Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s relationship with Adani.

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In a speech ahead of the Munich Security Conference, Soros said, “Modi is silent on the subject, but he will have to answer questions from foreign investors and in parliament.” 

“This will significantly weaken Modi’s stranglehold on India’s federal government and open the door to pushing for much-needed institutional reforms. I may be naive, but I expect a democratic revival in India,” he added. In his nearly 42-minute speech, he also covered topics such as climate change, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, US political unrest, China, and the earthquake in Turkey.

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Soros, whose estimated net worth is $.8.5 billion, founded the Open Society Foundations, which awards funding to organisations and individuals that support democracy, openness, and freedom of speech.

Late in January, a damaging report from short-sellers accused the Adani Group of accounting fraud and stock manipulation. This caused a stock market crash that wiped out more than $120 billion of the empire’s market value and dropped the man who was once the second-richest person in the world on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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The Modi-Adani relationship has also been in the spotlight due to the crisis. The pair’s close ties and the business tycoon’s stratospheric rise, which parallels Modi’s political rise to the highest elected post, have come under scrutiny from India’s opposition. Modi has not openly addressed the problem.

The empire’s debt has recently been under the spotlight in the Adani saga. After a borrowing frenzy in recent years, a surge in yields and concerns over access to foreign finance in the wake of the short-seller report have spurred fears that the group’s more highly leveraged companies may be unable to withstand higher interest rates.

Also Read: Adani-Hindenburg Row: Jaya Thakur Seeks Fair Probe against Adani Group, Moves to SC


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