Hit hard by heavy plunge in its group stocks, Anil Ambani group on Thursday blamed ‘corporate rivals’ and a cartel of market manipulators for causing panic among investors and sought an immediate probe into the matter.
Seeking to assuage concerns of its over 11 million investors, the group also said it has been a victim of the illegal bear cartel that destroyed market value of a staggering over Rs 3,00,000 crore for the infrastructure sector in past few weeks.
Terming the infrastructure sector as “the highest priority for the country,” the group MD Gautam Doshi said in a conference call that ADAG has sought immediate probe into the matter.
“We have written to SEBI, the stock exchanges, and intelligence agencies to immediately investigate these concerted efforts to destabilise the capital markets, and create panic amongst investors,” he said.
The comments came a day after the group stocks fell by up to 19 per cent, causing a market value loss of over Rs 11,000 crore in a single day.
The group stocks, however, on Thursday bounced back, defying the overall bearish sentiment in the broader market and surged by up to 11 per cent in early trade.
Reliance Infrastructure, which shed 25.14 per cent in on Wednesday’s session, shot up by 10.97 per cent this morning.
Another major gainer from the Anil Ambani camp was Reliance Communications, which advanced by 7.22 per cent to an early peak of Rs 101.70, after hitting a record low of Rs 90.80 yesterday.
Shares of Reliance Broadcast Network also went up by 5.37 per cent, while Reliance Capital jumped by 10.51 per cent, Reliance MediaWorks by 9.31 per cent and Reliance Power by 5.3 per cent today.
Speaking about Wednesday’s sharp plunge, Mr. Doshi said: “A series of completely false and baseless rumours against our Group have been circulated yesterday by our corporate rivals and an illegal bear cartel.”
“The market regulatory authorities are equipped with the most advanced electronic surveillance systems, and we are confident this deliberate pattern of price hammering and manipulation will quickly be exposed,” he said.
Mr. Doshi also said the group companies, Reliance Infra and RNRL, as well as their statutory auditors, have not received any notice from auditing regulator ICAI with regard to the consent settlement reached by the two companies with SEBI.
However, he added that the ICAI had “simply asked for copies of audited Balance Sheets, which are already in the public domain, and have been circulated, to over 1.5 million shareholders.”
“ICAI has also desired to know why Reliance Infra has chosen to implement a policy of rotation of statutory auditors,” Mr. Doshi said.
“It has been explained to ICAI that this policy, voluntarily adopted by Reliance Infra, is recommended by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. This policy is also entirely in line with international best practice,” Doshi added.
“We are surprised at the distorted reporting in a section of the media, attributing certain observations to the ICAI.
Reliance Infra has not received any queries from ICAI on its accounts for any year,” he said.
“Reliance Infra intends to take the strongest legal action against any irresponsible and defamatory media reports on these and related matter,” Mr. Doshi warned.
He said that Reliance Infra would continue to co-operate with ICAI and respond to any queries, if and when raised.
“At the same time, we would urge discretion to be maintained by a professional body like ICAI, especially in relation to price sensitive comments and observations to the media,” he added.
Following the debacle on the bourses, the group had issued a statement on Wednesday also and alleged that “a series of completely baseless and motivated rumours have been spread today by our unscrupulous corporate rivals.”
“This (rumour-mongering by rivals) has been accompanied by vicious and illegal bear—hammering of our listed stocks to create panic and destabilise the markets,” the group had said.
“We have made a formal complaint to SEBI and the stock exchanges to immediately investigate these illegal trades and take appropriate action to safeguard the interests of our over 11 million investors,” it added.