Sensex rises; Adani rises higher

Adani Enterprises jumps 23.15%; Adani Ports and SEZ rallies 5.68%.

New Delhi | Published: April 11, 2014 1:22 am

The BSE Sensex continued its surge to hit a lifetime high of 22,792 before settling down to close at an all time high of 22,715 on Thursday with a marginal gain of 12.99 points over the previous closing on the back of buying interest from foreign investors and rising domestic sentiments.

The Adani Group stocks were the stars of the day, with the three listed stocks seeing a surge Rs 12,039 crore in their cumulative market cap, taking the group market cap (three listed firms) to over Rs 1 lakh crore as the market factored in expectations of the Gujarat-based group seeing better prospects if the BJP led alliance was to come to power. The flagship company of the group — Adani Enterprises surged by 23.1 per cent followed by Adani Ports and SEZ and Adani Power that rose by 5.7 and 1.4 per cent respectively.

In a statement issued after market hours, Adani Enterprises stated that the “in the present case (Thursday’s rally), we do not have any important information/announcement to be shared”.

Power, capital goods and real estate indices on the BSE supported the rally as they rose by more than 1 per cent during the day. Companies in the healthcare, IT, FMCG and consumer durable sectors were not part of the rally as the three indices witnessed a fall. Foreign institutional investors pumped in a net of Rs 342.7 crore on Thursday in equities, taking the net investment in April to Rs 7,283 crore.

Firm prospers as Modi stresses development

AHMEDABAD: The way billionaire infrastructure-builder Gautam Adani sees it, working with the government does not make him a crony-capitalist.

Adani’s rapid ascent to the top tier of Indian business is often associated with the rise of Narendra Modi.

Based in Gujarat, Adani’s empire has benefitted from Modi’s emphasis on economic development, but the tycoon bristles at the notion that he has been granted undue favours. “Crony capitalism should not be there. I definitely agree with that. But how you define crony capitalism is another issue,” Adani, 52, said in a recent interview in his office in Ahmedabad.

“If you are, basically, working closely with the government, that doesn’t mean it’s crony capitalism,” said Adani, whose companies have built a chunk of the infrastructure that has helped make Gujarat an industrial powerhouse.

With speedy bureaucracy and 24-hour power in a country notorious for red tape and blackouts, Gujarat is a magnet for investment as well as criticism that the playing field is tilted too much in favour of industrialists like Adani.

“These improvements in infrastructure and governance are mainly for the corporate sector,” said Indira Hirway, director of the Center for Development Alternatives in Ahmedabad.

“For other sectors, for the masses, and particularly for the poor, the infrastructure is not doing that well,” she said, referring to issues such as drinking water, sanitation, and social infrastructure.

A college dropout and self-made entrepreneur in a country where industrial wealth is often inherited, Adani has built a power, mining and ports giant with $8.7 billion in revenue. Adani has stepped up its operations outside Gujarat in recent years with hefty investments in Australia and elsewhere in India, but it is the vast port and special economic zone at Mundra, a once-remote coastal town on the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, that is Adani’s crown jewel and where opponents say the government favoured it with cheap land. The state government, Adani said, has been a facilitator.

“You can say very well that land has been given to Adani,” said Adani, wearing a white short-sleeved shirt over dark trousers and black loafers. “So what? Has Adani taken away land and not developed anything?” As chief minister since 2001, Modi has aggressively courted investment.

“He is convinced that he needs industrialists,” Adani said of Modi’s stance on development.

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