Indian billionaire Gautam Adani lost more than $20 billion (£16 billion) on Friday as investors withdrew from his companies for a second day due to allegations of fraud made by a US investment firm.
The Adani Group has brushed off the allegations as malicious, but the outrage has not subsided as a result.
The largest opposition party in India has called for an investigation.
The market value of the firm’s publicly traded companies has decreased by nearly $50 billion.
Adani Enterprises, the company’s flagship, saw a nearly 20% decline in share price on Friday, and other publicly traded companies in the group experienced even greater declines. As a result, trading in Mumbai was automatically halted.
While maintaining his estimated net worth of more than $96 billion, Mr. Adani has fallen from third richest man in the world to seventh on Forbes’ rich list.
The man who dropped out of school and became Asia’s richest
The controversy began only a few days after Hindenburg Research, a company that specializes in “short-selling,” or wagering against a company’s share price in the hope that it will decline, released a report accusing the Adani Group of engaging in decades-long, “brazen” stock manipulation and accounting fraud.
Its study was released in advance of an Adani Enterprises share sale that is currently not receiving much interest.
Self-made tycoon Mr. Adani has amassed wealth through investments in renewable energy, ports, airports, and other industries. As the value of shares in his companies increased dramatically during the last three years, so did his wealth.
His business stated that it was thinking about suing Hindenburg.
Mr. Adani, an ally of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has long been the target of accusations from opposition lawmakers that he has benefitted from his connections to the political system, which he vigorously refutes.
Several state-owned insurance firms and banks in India have invested or lent billions of dollars to businesses connected to the Adani Group.
Some of India’s top public sector banks told Reuters in interviews that they were not concerned about dangers related to their exposure to the company.
However, the incident has hurt the broader stock market, which has contributed to India’s benchmark Nifty 50 stock index falling more than 1% on Friday.