SEBI probing Adani Group's ties with Gulf Asia fund: Report

'SEBI probing Adani Group's ties with Gulf Asia fund: Report'

An earlier report by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project suggested that the fund invested in several listed Adani firms.

Market regulator Sebi is investigating a fund, Gulf Asia Trade & Investment, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, to see if it has any relation with the Adani Group and whether there was violation of share ownership rules, Reuters said quoting two sources. 

Nasser Ali Shaban Ahli, a Dubai businessman, is the owner of the fund, which has investments in several listed Adani firms. He is the same person, who was described by the OCCRP in August, as one of two individual investors with "longtime business ties" to the Adani group founder Gautam Adani. Reuters suggested the website of the fund, has been down since last month. 

Sebi was looking at whether Gulf Asia's ties with the Adani Group were such that it would be deemed to be acting "in concert" with key Adani shareholders, sources told Reuters.  The report came as Adani group this week condemned the 'renewed attempt' by the Financial Times to rehash "old and baseless" allegations to hurt the standing of the Adani group.

Shares of Adani Enterprises, which were trading higher for most past of the day, fell into the red.  The stock was trading at Rs 2,493.75, down 0.16 per cent. Adani Ports was down 0.56 per cent at Rs 814.65. Other group stocks were trading in the green.

The non-profit global network of investigative journalists, as per the Reuters report, had also alleged Gulf Asia used offshore structures to buy and sell Adani shares from 2013 to 2018. A British Virgin Islands corporate registry filing reviewed by Reuters suggested that Gulf Asia merged with Adani Enterprises' related entity EZY in September 2011.

Gulf Asia, the Reuters report suggested, was the surviving entity. At the time of the merger, shareholders would have had ownership in Gulf Asia but the information provided in the document did not make clear how much, Reuters noted.