Penn sports betting business posts fourth quarter profit

In this photo illustration, the Penn Entertainment logo is displayed on a smartphone mobile screen.

Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | light rocket | Getty Images

Penn Entertainment on Thursday became the first US gambling company to post a profit in its sports betting business during the final three months of a year.

Usually, it’s tougher to turn a sportsbook profit during the third and fourth quarters because companies spend more on marketing and promotions during football season.

Penn’s interactive business, which also includes online casino games, made a $5.2 million profit on $208 million in revenue during the fourth quarter of 2022. The performance helped lift the company’s overall revenue for the period by nearly 1% to $1.6 billion.

The profit in sports betting came even in spite of a highly publicized $10 million bet Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale placed – and won – on the Houston Astros winning the World Series in November.

Caesars also took a hit from Mattress Mack’s baseball bet, which blocked his own ability to turn a profit in sports betting in the fourth quarter, according to results pre-released as a result of a debt refinancing.

FanDuel, the US online sports betting leader for market share, announced a quarterly profit in the second quarter last year and said it anticipated profitability for the full year. Its parent company, Flutterhas not yet announced earnings.

DraftKingsanother rival, has said it will be profitable by 2024. Its shares rebounded more than 50% in January, after a punishing 2022, when investors focused on the lack of earnings in spite of massive spending on promotions and marketing.

Penn credits its profitability in the interactive segment to a marketing approach that differs from its competitors. It relies on cross-platform promotion from Barstool, a sports media company that Penn will own in full later this month, and powerhouse Canadian media brand theScore.

Penn said Ontario, where theScore was founded, has become its top market in North America for sports betting and its iCasino business, in spite of intense competition.

The company’s interactive business also experienced its most successful launch ever, based on first time deposits, when Ohio went live with sports betting Jan. 1. Penn credited the power of the Barstool brand and said more than half of the money wagered came from those within its MyChoice customer reward database.

Still shares declined Thursday, after CEO Jay Snowden, on an earnings call, blamed overall lackluster fourth quarter earnings on bad weather in December. The company issued 2023 guidance which Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli called “realistic, though likely uninspiring.”

Snowden said the guidance is conservative, based on the broader economic outlook. “We took a haircut to what we anticipated seeing in 2023, just to build in some level of recessionary concerns,” he said.

But, he added, January has been very strong for both its bricks-and-mortar casinos and the online platform. He said if the current trend continues, the midpoint of the guidance is likely to turn out to be low.



Alphabet (GOOGL) earnings Q4 2022

Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc., speaks during the CEO Summit of the Americas hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, California, US, on Thursday, June 9, 2022.

Kyle Grillot | Bloomberg | Getty Images

parent google Alphabet will report fourth-quarter earnings Thursday after the close of regular trading. Here’s what analysts are expecting:

  • Earnings: $1.18 per share, according to Refinitiv estimates.
  • Income: $76.53 billion, according to Refinitiv estimates.
  • YouTube advertising revenue: $8.25 billion, according to StreetAccount estimates.
  • Google Cloud income: $7.43 billion, according to StreetAccount estimates.
  • Traffic acquisition costs (TAC): $13.32 billion, according to StreetAccount estimates.

Google’s core ad business is expected to report minimal expansion from a year earlier, and growth is likely to remain in the single digits until late 2023, based on analyst estimates.

A slowing economy and competition from TikTok have hurt Google as well as digital ad rivals Snap and Facebook. Earlier this week, Snap reported weaker-than-expected revenue, while Facebook parent Meta topped estimates but still recorded a 4% decline in sales.

In January, Alphabet announced it was laying off 12,000 employees, or 6% of its workforce. The company told employees recently that more of them will be at risk for low performance ratings than in prior years.

Alphabet also cut staff in its health sciences unit Verily by 15%, citing a restructuring that will supposedly better position the business to seek financial independence.

Pressure is mounting for Google in other ways.

Artificial intelligence-based chatbot ChatGPT, launched late last year by Microsoft-backed OpenAI, is viewed as posing a risk to Google’s search engine. Executives teased that the company may introduce a similar product to the public at some point this year. CNBC reported this week that Google is internally experimenting with several potential products that could influence its search business.

In January, the US Justice Department filed its second antitrust lawsuit against Google in just over two years, this one targeting its advertising business. It marked the first federal lawsuit against Google filed during the Biden administration.

Google is now showing its willingness to invest heavily in live sports. During the fourth quarter, the company agreed to pay $2 billion per year for the next seven years for YouTube to own the exclusive rights for “NFL Sunday Ticket.”

WATCH: US Justice Department addresses antitrust litigation against Google



Ford (F) earnings Q4 2022

Ford CEO Jim Farley takes off his mask at the Ford Built for America event at Fords Dearborn Truck Plant on September 17, 2020 in Dearborn, Michigan.

Nic Antaya | Getty Images

DETROIT- Ford-Motor is set to report its fourth-quarter earnings after the bell Thursday. Here’s what Wall Street is expecting, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: 62 cents
  • Automotive revenue: $40.37 trillion

In October, Ford confirmed its prior full-year guidance of adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of between $11.5 billion and $12.5 billion. Through the first three quarters of the year, its brought in $7.9 billion, led by its North American operations.

If Ford meets or exceeds Wall Street’s top- and bottom-line expectations, EPS would more than double the 26 cents it reported for the same period a year earlier. Revenue would be an increase of 14.5% from the fourth quarter of 2021.

While investors will be monitoring the fourth-quarter results for signs of any waning consumer demand or profit dilution, Ford’s 2023 guidance is expected to be more of a focus.

Wall Street expects Ford’s full-year 2023 adjusted earnings per share outlook to mark a nearly 16% decline from 2022, according to Refinitiv estimates. That’s despite forecasting full-year revenue up 3.4% year over year to more than $151 billion, signaling lower operational profit compared with recent years.

Automakers have posted record or near-record results during the coronavirus pandemic amid a tight supply of new vehicles and resilient consumer demand. But that scenario is slowly normalizing, leaving new vehicle prices and profits in flux.

On Monday, Ford cut the price of its electric Mustang Mach-E, an early sign of a burgeoning EV price war spurred by You’re here.

Earlier Thursday, Ford reported January new vehicles sales that showed slight improvement over the same period last year.

There’s pressure on Ford to deliver a strong fourth quarter and relatively solid guidance. Crosstown rival General Motors on Tuesday significantly outperformed Wall Street’s expectations. The automaker also forecast stronger-than-expected 2023 results, including adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $10.5 billion to $12.5 billion and adjusted earnings per share of between $6 and $7.

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Wall Street analysts are bullish on META, NVDA & FSLR



European Central Bank raises rates by 50 basis points, pledges further hike in March

Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank speaks at an event.

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The European Central Bank on Thursday confirmed expectations of a 50 basis point interest rate increase, taking its key rate to 2.5%.

In a statement, it pledged to “stay the course in raising interest rates significantly at a steady pace” and, in unusually firm language, said it intended to hike by another 50 basis points in March.

It said keeping rates at restrictive levels would control price rises by dampening demand and keeping inflation expectations under constrained. Decisions at future meetings will be data-dependent, it added.

The move follows four hikes in 2022 which brought euro zone rates out of negative territory for the first time since 2014.

Euro zone inflation fell for the third straight month in January, flash figures published Wednesday showed, but headline inflation remained high at 8.5%. Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, was flat at 5.2%.

Attention now turns to Thursday’s speech and press conference by Lagarde, which begins at 2:45 pm Frankfurt time, for an indication of the central bank’s latest outlook on the economy and further details of its plans for hiking and quantitative tightening.

In December, it announced that from March it would begin to reduce its 5 trillion euro ($5.49 trillion) balance sheet by 15 billion euros per month on average until the end of June 2023.

On Thursday, he said that in line with current practice he would continue partial reinvestments of its maturing debt.

“The remaining reinvestment amounts will be allocated proportionally to the share of redemptions across each constituent program of the APP (Asset Purchase Programme) and, under the public sector purchase program (PSPP), to the share of redemptions of each jurisdiction and across national and supranational issuers,” its statement said.

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Nasdaq-100 futures rise as Meta surges on quarterly revenue beat

Futures linked to the Nasdaq-100 were higher Thursday, boosted by sharp gains from Facebook-parent Meta Platforms.

Nasdaq-100 futures gained 1.3%. S&P 500 futures jumped 0.5%. Futures connected to the Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked down 43 points, or 0.1%.

Meta surged more than 19% in premarket trading after reporting a fourth-quarter beat on revenue and announcing a $40 billion stock buyback. That helped investors look past losses in the business unit overseeing the metaverse.

The moves follow a positive day for the three major indexes. The S&P 500 gained 1.05% on Wednesday, while the Nasdaq Composite closed 2% higher. Meanwhile, the Dow eked out a narrow 0.02% gain after dropping more than 500 points earlier in the day.

Wednesday’s gains came after the Federal Reserve announced a 0.25 percentage point interest rate hike was announced. That marked a pull back from the 0.5 percentage point increase at December’s meeting, bolstering investor optimism that inflation is cooling enough for the central bank to take notice. But the central bank gave no indication of an upcoming pause in rate hikes.

“Traders think the Fed is behind the curve and that inflation threat is receding rapidly,” said Jamie Dutta, market analyst at Vantage. “The Fed is open to changing its mind and may have to if the economy loses momentum.”

Investors will watch Thursday for earnings reports from household names including Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Ford Motor and Starbucks. They will also look for data on jobless claims, productivity, labor costs and factory orders.



Shares slip despite profit beat

A statue is pictured next to the logo of Germany’s Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, September 30, 2016.

Kai Pfaffenbach | Reuters

Deutsche Bank on Thursday reported its 10th straight quarter of profit, but shares retired as analysts honed in on an uncertain outlook and weakness in the investment bank.

Deutsche Bank reported a 1.8 billion euro ($1.98 billion) net profit attributable to shareholders for the fourth quarter, bringing its annual net income for 2022 to 5 billion euros, a 159% increase from the previous year.

The German lender almost doubled a consensus estimate among analysts polled by Reuters of 910.93 million euro net profit for the fourth quarter, and exceeded a projection of 4.29 billion euros on the year.

Despite the lofty net profit figures, Deutsche Bank shares were 2.4% lower by mid-morning in Europe as analysts honed in on the uncertainty of the macroeconomic outlook, evidenced by the bank’s reluctance to issue a share buyback at this stage.

Amit Goel, co-head of European banks equity research at Barclays, characterized the results as “a bit mixed,” given that the strong revenue message for 2023 was offset by a weaker-than-expected fourth quarter in many other metrics, particularly the investment bank.

“The revenue miss vs consensus and our estimate was also largely driven by lower IB and corporate center result partly offset by better corporate bank; within the IB both FIC and origination and advisory were lower,” Goel noted.

Total revenues at the investment bank fell 12% year-on-year in the fourth quarter. Its contribution to Deutsche Bank’s core bank pre-tax profit fell 6% to 3.5 billion euros.

Restructuring plan

The bank’s full-year results follow a sweeping restructuring plan, announced in 2019, to reduce costs and improve profitability. It saw Deutsche Bank exit its global equities sales and trading operations, scaling back its investment bank and slashing around 18,000 jobs by the end of 2022.

The result marks a significant improvement from the 1.9 billion euros reported in 2021, and CEO Christian Sewing said the bank had been “successfully transformed” over the last three and a half years.

“By refocusing our business around core strengths we have become significantly more profitable, better balanced and more cost-efficient. In 2022, we demonstrated this by delivering our best results for fifteen years,” Sewing said in a statement Thursday.

“Thanks to disciplined execution of our strategy, we have been able to support our clients through highly challenging conditions, proving our resilience with strong risk discipline and sound capital management.”

Post-tax return on average tangible shareholders’ equity (RoTE), a key metric identified in Sewing’s transformation efforts, was 9.4% for the full year, up from 3.8% in 2021.

Other quarterly highlights include:

  • Loan loss provisions stood at 351 million euros, compared to 254 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2021.
  • Common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio — a measure of bank solvency — came in at 13.4%, compared to 13.2% at the end of the previous year.
  • Total net revenue was 6.3 billion euros, up 7% from 5.9 billion euros for the same period in 2021 but slightly below consensus estimates, bringing the annual total to 27.2 billion euros in 2022.

Deutsche also recommended a shareholder dividend of 30 cents per share, up from 20 cents per share in 2021, but did not announce a share buyback.

“On the share repurchases, given the uncertainty of the environment today that we see, also some regulatory changes that we’d like to see both the timing and the extent of, we’re holding back for now. We think that’s the prudent action to take, but we intend to revisit that,” CFO James von Moltke told CNBC on Thursday.

He added that the bank would likely reassess the outlook in the second half of this year, and reaffirmed Deutsche’s target for 8 billion euros in capital distributions to shareholders through to the year 2025.

Deutsche’s corporate banking unit posted 39% growth in net interest income, aided by “higher interest rates, strong operating performance, business growth and favorable FX movements.”

Fourth quarter ‘tailed off’

The bank said some tailwinds were offset by a slump in dealmaking that has affected the wider industry in recent months.

“The fourth quarter tailed off a little bit for us in November and December, but still was a record quarter in our FIC (fixed income and currencies) business for a fourth quarter, 8.9 billion [euros] for the full-year,” CFO von Moltke told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach.

“We’re thrilled with that performance but … it came a little bit short of analyst expectations and our guidance late in the year.”

He said that January had been a month of strong performance for the bank’s trading divisions, as market volatility persisted.

“That gives us some encouragement that our general view, which was that volatility and conditions in the macro businesses would taper off over time, but would be replaced if you like from a revenue perspective with increasing activity in micro areas like credit, M&A, equity and also debt issuance,” he said.

“We see that still intact as a thesis of what ’23 will look like.”



Oil giant reports record annual profits

Shell said last month that windfall taxes imposed by the European Union and UK following the surge in profits would cost the group about $2 billion.

Paul Ellis | dpa | Getty Images

British oil giant Shell on Thursday posted its highest-ever annual profit, bolstered by soaring fossil fuel prices and robust demand since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.

Shell reported adjusted earnings of $39.9 billion for the full-year 2022. This comfortably surpasses the $28.4 billion in 2008 which Shell said was the firm’s previous annual record and is more than double the firm’s full-year 2021 profit of $19.29 billion.

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Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected full-year 2022 net profit to come in at $38.3 billion.

For the final quarter of 2022, Shell reported adjusted earnings of $9.8 trillion.

Shell announced a $4 billion share buyback program, which is expected to be completed by its first-quarter 2023 results — due out by early May — and a 15% dividend per share increase for the fourth quarter.

“It is a huge year for Shell and a huge year to look back on as well,” Shell CEO Wael Sawan told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick in his first earnings interview since taking on the role on Jan. 1.

“I feel privileged to be stepping into this role at such a great point in the company’s history. As we look ahead, I think we have a unique opportunity to be able to succeed as the winner in the energy transition. We have a portfolio that I think is second to none,” Sawan said.

“My focus will be very much around performance and capital discipline,” he added.

The results follow in the footsteps of historic annual earnings for US oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron, with the West’s largest oil and gas companies expected to rake in combined profits of nearly $200 billion for the year, according to Refinitiv data.

The extraordinary scale of the industry’s earnings has renewed criticism and sparked calls for a Big Oil windfall profit tax.

Shell said last month that it expected to take a $2 billion hit for the final three months of 2022 as a result of new taxes in the European Union and the UK

“Ultimately, taxes are a matter for governments to decide on. We, of course, engage and provide perspectives and the key perspective that we try to provide is a context around the fact that companies like ourselves that need to invest multiple billion dollars to support the energy transition requires a secure and stable investment climate,” Sawan said.

“For example, windfall taxes or price caps simply erode confidence in that investment stability and so I do worry about some of the moves being made,” he continued.

“I think there is a different approach that needs to be had which is to really draw investment capital at a time when we need to be able to embed energy security into the broader energy system here in Europe.”

Shares of the London-listed company rose 0.6% during early morning deals on Thursday.

‘Energy trilemma’

Shell said its cash capital expenditure outlook for 2023 sits between $23 billion to $27 billion. Of that, Sawan said roughly one-third if not slightly more would go into areas like renewables.

Shell, which is aiming to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050, said that adjusted earnings for its Renewable and Energy Solutions unit came in at $293 million for the final three months of 2022, down from $383 million in the third quarter.

“Shell can’t claim to be in transition as long as investments in fossil fuels dwarf investments in renewables,” said Mark van Baal, founder of Dutch group Follow This.

“The bulk of Shell’s investments remain tied to fossil fuel businesses, because the company doesn’t have a target to slash its total CO2 emissions this decade, as is required to reach Paris.”

In recent quarters, Big Oil executives have defended their rising profits and said the significant disruption to global energy markets due to the war in Ukraine has reaffirmed the importance of helping to solve “the energy trilemma.”

According to a statement to investors from BP CEO Bernard Looney late last year, this refers to “secure, affordable and lower carbon energy.”

Climate campaigners and activist shareholders have been sharply critical.

“That Shell’s annual profits more than doubled last year, while millions of people have been facing the impossible choice between putting food on the table and heating their homes, is simply staggering,” said Sana Yusuf, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth.

“People can see the injustice of paying eye-watering energy costs while big oil and gas firms rake in billions,” Yusuf said.

US oil giant Exxon Mobil on Tuesday reported a $56 billion profit for 2022, marking a historic high for the Western oil industry, while Chevron on Friday posted a record $36.5 billion profit for last year.

British oil major BP is scheduled to report full-year earnings on Feb .7, with France’s TotalEnergies slated to follow on Feb. 8.



Biden’s IRA has left Europe blind-sided. And playing catchup could lead to 2 big mistakes

US President Joe Biden, front, and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The European Union is working against the clock to create a program to rival President Joe Biden’s unprecedented climate subsidies. But it’ll face two key issues in the process.

The EU had, for a long time, asked the United States to be more active on climate policy. Biden delivered on that with the Inflation Reduction Act. But it has raised competition issues for European businesses — which has upset politicians in the region. Brussels has been left considering how best to respond.

“US legislation doesn’t pass overnight,” Emre Peker, director at the consultancy group Eurasia, told CNBC, adding that the EU could have acted faster.

“The EU was asleep at the wheel … with 28 representations in Washington, Europeans could’ve done more to counteract the IRA before its adoption.”

The US Inflation Reduction Act, also referred to as IRA, was approved by US lawmakers in August and includes a record $369 billion in spending on climate and energy policies.

Among other aspects, it provides tax credits to consumers who buy electric cars that were made in North America — this could automatically make European-made EVs less attractive to buyers because they are likely to be more expensive.

We will continue to further invest into the region to achieve significant growth.

Some European firms have recently announced investment plans in the US to benefit from an anticipated pick-up in demand. And more could follow follows.

volkswagen has ambitious targets for the North American region. We now have a unique chance to grow profitably and to grow electric in the US,” a spokesperson for the German company, one of the biggest car manufacturers in Europe, told CNBC via email.

Enelan Italian energy firm, is concentrating 85% of its 37 billion euro ($40.2 billion) investments between 2023 and 2025 in Italy, Spain and the US

“Specifically relating to public support policies, the IRA encompasses unprecedented measures on green tech and we think it could act as a stimulus for the EU to move forward in that direction, in order to support a substantial scale-up of renewable technologies which are key for our continent’s energy independence,” a spokesperson for the company told CNBC via email.

Luisa Santos, deputy director at BusinessEurope, a group of business federations, told CNBC that “it is still a bit early to say who will invest where.” “But it is very clear some companies will invest in the US in any case,” she added, referencing an expected surge of investment toward the US — at the expense of Europe.

Outspending others

European officials are currently looking at relaxing state aid rules so governments have more room to financially support key companies and sectors.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, is due to present a proposal in the coming weeks.

But this solution might not be ideal. Countries with bigger budgets will be able to deploy more funds than poorer nations, which risks the integrity of the EU’s much-vaunted single market — where goods and people move freely and which accounts for more than 440 million consumers.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo told CNBC that more state aid “is not a good answer.”

“There’s a level playing field [in Europe]. Belgium is a small market, very open economy, Germany is a big market. If this becomes a race of who has the deepest pockets we are all going to lose and it would lead to a subsidy war with the United States,” de Croo said earlier this month.

Several other experts have also raised concerns about easing state aid rules. Former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti told Politico Europe this is a “dangerous” approach.

In a letter issued last month and seen by CNBC, Europe’s Competition Chief Margrethe Vestager said: “Not all member states have the same fiscal space for State Aid. That’s a fact. And a risk for the integrity of Europe.”

Slow to respond

In addition to challenges with state aid relaxation, timing is also a risk.

European officials will discuss and decide how to provide more green incentives for the medium to long-term. On the one hand, some argue that current European investment programs should be redeployed toward these subsidies. But on the other hand, others argue that the bloc will need to raise fresh cash to implement such a huge project.

Thus, it’ll likely turn into a deep and strained political matter that could drag for awhile.

Paolo Gentiloni, Europe’s economics commissioner, said Tuesday in Berlin that there are “different views” on the table.

“But I am satisfied there is a clear intention to engage in this discussion,” he said following conversations with Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner, who’s previously stated he would not support new public borrowing.

Germany will likely face a 'very mild' recession this year, finance minister Christian Lindner says



Adani calls off $2.5 billion equity sale as regulatory concerns grow

A signage of Adani group is pictured outside the Chatrapati Shivaji Mumbai International Airport in Mumbai on July 28, 2021. (Photo by Indranil MUKHERJEE / AFP) (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

Indranil Mukherjee | dpa | Getty Images

On Wednesday, Gautam Adani announced he’s scrapping his firm’s $2.5 billion equity sale.

He withdrew the offering for shares in Adani Enterprises, the flagship of the Indian conglomerate Adani Group, after the stock tanked by nearly 30%.

Breaking his silence to the media, Adani said, “Today the market has been unprecedented, and our stock price has fluctuated over the course of the day. Given these extraordinary circumstances, the Company’s board felt that going ahead with the issue will not be morally correct.”

In a Jan. 24 report, short seller Hindenburg Research alleged that “Adani Group has engaged in a brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme.” The report went on to raise concerns around the debt and valuations of seven Adani companies.

Adani Group has denied the allegations, saying they have “no basis” and stem from an ignorance of Indian law. The group has always made the necessary regulatory disclosures, it added.

Speculation is growing that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will conduct some type of investigation into Adani’s businesses.

“My understanding is that a cancellation would mean a mandatory SEBI inquiry,” said Pramit Chaudhuri, Eurasia Group’s head of South Asia practice, to CNBC.

Chaudhuri, like many, said he was “surprised” to see Adani scrap plans after achieving the $2.5 billion target.

The stunning reversal caps a week in which Adani went on a full mission to ensure his equity sale was successful following immense pressure tied to his falling stock price.

Adani tapped high net worth individuals inside India and looked to the Middle East as well. International Holding Co., an Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate, contributed $400 million to the deal. It was widely seen as a vote of confidence. Goldman’s trading desk participated in the deal as well, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC. Adani Enterprises’ stock ended higher on Tuesday following news of the fully subscribed $2.5 billion offering.

Investors woke up to an ugly picture on Wednesday when Adani Enterprise’s stock plunged, falling by as much as 28% and prompting Adani to cancel his equity sale.

“We are working with our Book Running Lead Managers (BRLMs) to refund the proceeds received by us in escrow and to also release the amounts blocked in your bank accounts for subscription to this issue,” added Adani.

The move also raises questions about where else Adani will look for financial support.

As CNBC reported, Adani has established relationships with a slate of international banks and private equity investors. The tycoon, once the second richest person in the world, has slipped to the 13th position in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index as of Feb. 1.