(Bloomberg) — One of the biggest names in emerging-market investing is betting $1.9 billion on Gautam Adani’s empire, in the most significant show of support from a major money manager since a short-seller report lopped $153 billion off the Indian conglomerate’s market value.
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Rajiv Jain’s GQG Partners bought shares in four firms from an Adani family trust at discounts to Thursday’s closing prices, according to a statement from Adani Group and exchange filings. All 10 Adani Group stocks climbed in Mumbai on Friday, with their combined market value rising by about $8 billion. That’s set to be the biggest increase since Hindenburg Research’s Jan. 24 report.
Jain’s investment comes as a vote of confidence at a crucial time for the beleaguered group, which has spent the past few weeks trying to repair an image damaged by Hindenburg’s accusations of accounting fraud and share-price manipulation. After repeatedly denying those allegations, Adani has tried to assure bondholders and has even pared aggressive growth targets to help assuage investor concerns.
“It is surprising, but they have come to a conclusion that this is a good investment opportunity, which many others may not have tried to analyze or decipher,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities Ltd. “They may be seeing a lot of value at these depressed valuations. They may be looking to deploy large sums in India and have snapped up this opportunity.”
Adani is a bold wager for GQG Chairman Jain, who’s known to broadly prefer safe, defensive stocks of companies that have what he calls bullet-proof balance sheets.
Born and raised in India, Jain made his name as a star emerging markets fund manager at Swiss firm Vontobel Asset Management. Later he co-founded GQG and built it into a $88 billion powerhouse with investments in industries like oil, tobacco and banking. In 2022, when most asset managers watched clients yank cash from their funds as markets cratered, Florida-based GQG thrived. The firm lured $8 billion in fresh…