Senior Lawyer Claims China-Linked Businessman Behind Hindenburg Report on Adani

Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had said that foreign portfolio investor Kingdon Capital Management LLC and its entities aided Hindenburg in indirectly participating in Adani Enterprises Ltd.

Senior lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani has made an allegation as he claims to have strong evidence suggesting that a businessman connected to China paid for a report created by Hindenburg Research, a company known for short-selling stocks. This report allegedly caused the stock prices of companies belonging to the Adani Group to decline.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) claimed earlier last week that Hindenburg was indirectly assisted in participating in Adani Enterprises Ltd. by overseas portfolio investor Kingdon Capital Management LLC and its affiliates. The markets regulator’s probe also revealed a conspiracy between Kotak Mahindra and Hindenburg to take short positions in Adani shares.

Mr. Jethmalani claimed in a lengthy post on X that Hindenburg had been engaged by American businessman Mark Kingdon, the creator of Kingdon Capital Management LLC, to write a study on the Adani Group. Additionally, Mr. Kingdon made contact with Kotak Mahindra Investments Limited (KMIL), the company’s overseas investment arm, to establish an offshore fund and offshore accounts for the purpose of trading Adani shares. As a result, the Kotak India Opportunity Fund (KIOF) was established.

Before the Hindenburg report was made public, this fund allegedly acquired short positions in shares of Adani Group Companies via the Mauritius route, with the Kingdon Master Fund providing close to $40 million for this purpose.


The senior lawyer’s disclosure that Anla Cheng, the wife of Mr. Kingdon and a Chinese-American with a sizable stake in the Kingdon Master Fund, is a lobbyist for Chinese interests in the US was the “smoking gun” he was referring to.

“She was the CEO of #SupChina a pro-China media corporate initiative which morphed into an entity called The China Project after a whistleblower accused SupChina of news subversion in China’s interest in a sworn statement before the US Congress,” the lawyer wrote.

“#TheChinaProject shut down after calls for an investigation into its subversive activities by some US senators including having links with the Chinese Communist Party. The latter clearly has a bone to pick with the Adani group,” he added.

Mr. Jethmalani proposed that Ms. Cheng and Mr. Kingdon’s activities were brought about by the Adani Group undermining Chinese interests across the world, such as by outbidding Chinese players for coal projects close to Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and the Haifa Port in Israel.

Mr Jethmalani posed three major questions

“Who introduced the Kingdons to KMIL, what due diligence was conducted by KMIL regarding the Kingdons and did it participate in the short sell as a principal,” he inquired.

The second query is whether or whether the Indian individuals, groups, and organizations that supported Hindenburg were aware of the short-selling scheme and whether or not they profited from it. In what appeared to be a jab at the opposition, which has frequently used the Adani-Hindenburg controversy to attack the group and the government, Mr. Jethmalani particularly addressed politicians.

Show-Cause Notice To Hindenburg

In a show-cause notice to Hindenburg Research LLC, SEBI claimed that the company had made false and misleading claims in its report, fabricating a story with selective disclosures and attention-grabbing headlines to drive up the price of Adani shares and depress the prices of the Adani group of stocks.

According to Hindenburg, neither Kingdon nor its research notice was given to Hindenburg prior to the draft report being released publicly via email, and neither party shared a trade notice with the other.