“These are reputable short sellers. Their track record is strong, with recent allegations against Nikola leading to a 40 percent drop in stock prices,” said Nitin Chanduka, a Singapore-based analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
Anderson’s company follows standard procedure for a so-called activist short: After researching a potential target, Hindenburg bets the stock will fall, then publicly trumpets his research, using social media to get the message out. Hindenburg’s Twitter account has more than 259,000 followers, while Anderson’s personal account has another 26,500.
Activist shorts pose as watchdogs protecting investors from accounting and management errors, while the companies they target typically accuse them of market manipulation.
Regulators have often balked at short sellers, and the U.S. Justice Department collected information on dozens of investment firms and investigators in 2021 as part of a large-scale hunt for potential trading abuses by shorts, according to those in the know. No charges have been announced from the investigation.
Hindenburg was not immediately available to comment on his record. Adani Group’s chief financial officer said the investigation was a “malicious combination of selective disinformation and outdated, baseless and discredited allegations”.
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