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Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra hit out at the Adani Group Monday after business daily Economics Times said it is trying to raise $400 million in debt against an Australian asset – the North Queensland Export Terminal (NQXT) – a port that makes up a significant portion of its exports from the Carmichael coal mine.

Mahua Moitra on Saturday raised question over the allegations against Delhi Cricket Association. (PTI) Mahua Moitra on Saturday raised question over the allegations against Delhi Cricket Association. (PTI) She referred to November 2021 reports that cited the group as saying it had ‘already divested its stakes… in NQXT’. That statement was after United States-based global financial services firm MSCI dropped Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) from some of its climate change indices.

“Adani said it had divested away NQXT… is not on their books. Yet now trying to raise $400 mn (in) debt against it,” Mahua Moitra tweeted, tagging the Enforcement Directorate and the Securities Exchange Board of India.

“… still pretending NQXT not related party and allowing non-disclosure of foreign assets and skimming away coal profits,” the Bengal lawmaker added.

Moitra also hit back at critics – ‘saffron chaddiwalas who spend time trolling my exposes’ – and invited them to ‘prove your patriotism and buy Adani stocks…’

Earlier today Reuters cited the ET report that said the NQXT could be used to raise funds for the Adani Group. Two indicative term sheets – proposals of basic terms and conditions – have been received, including one by Farallon Capital, a United States-based multi-strategy hedge fun. Both ET and Reuters noted that neither Adani nor Farallon had commented so far, and Reuters said Australia’s market regulator had announced plans to review the Hindenburg report.

READ | Adani hopes to raise $400 million in debt against Aus coal port assets

Today’s jab at an embattled Adani comes days after Moitra flagged a news report that said the value of state-run LIC’s holding in Adani stock had – for the first time – dropped below ₹27,000 crore, or 11 per cent below purchase price.

READ | ‘ ₹3,200 crore loss for LIC…’: Mahua Moitra’s jab as Adani stocks slide

Adani share prices have nosedived – and the combined equity market value of the group’s 10 companies has dropped below $100 billion – since short-seller Hindenburg accused the conglomerate of ‘brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud’. Adani Enterprises, the group’s flagship firm, slid 8.5 per cent Monday and has lost around 65 per cent since the report, Reuter said.

The fallout has caused a big political storm in India and Adani has lost billions, dropping down the list of richest individuals in the world – from No 2 to No 30.

READ | Amid Hindenburg crisis, Adani slips to 30th on global rich list

The Adani Group has denied any wrongdoing and has hired legal and communications firms, as well as repaying some of its vast debts, in a bid to reassure spooked investors and markets.

Last week the Supreme Court rejected a request to stop the media from reporting on the Adani-Hindenburg controversy till it delivers its verdict.

“We are not going to ever give any injunction against media…” chief justice DY Chandrachud said. The court also rejected the government’s bid to submit recommendations for an expert panel in a sealed cover.

READ | Supreme Court rejects plea to stop media reporting on Adani row

Earlier this month both Sitharaman and the Reserve Bank chief Shaktikanta Das allayed concerns over the impact of the Adani crisis on the Indian economy.

With input from Reuters

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