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UPDATE 1-UK's financial watchdog to investigate NMC Health

Thu, 27th Feb 2020 15:10

(Recasts with FCA probe, adds comment from former vice-chair)

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Britain's Financial Conduct Authority
(FCA) will investigate NMC Health, the UAE healthcare
company said on Thursday, after trading in its shares on the
London stock exchange was suspended.

The news of the investigation comes the day after NMC
removed its chief executive and placed its finance chief on
extended sick leave following its own ongoing investigation into
its finances.

NMC, part of the FTSE 100 index of leading shares, said it
would cooperate with the FCA and any other relevant authorities.
It had earlier said it was focused on providing clarity to the
market as to its financial position.

Abu-Dhabi based NMC's shares have lost about two thirds of
their value since U.S.-based short-seller Muddy Waters first
questioned its financial statements in December of last year.
NMC's own review is being led by former FBI boss Louis Freeh.

The company's troubles have also been compounded by doubts
over the size of shareholdings of major investors, including
founder and former co-chair BR Shetty and former vice-chairman
Khaleefa Butti Omair Yousif Ahmed Al Muhairi. These issues are
also being looked into under a separate legal review.

Muhairi on Thursday denied any wrongdoing and said that he
was looking into allegations involving him that related to
supply chain financing arrangements at NMC, as disclosed by the
company in its update late on Wednesday.

"I have not been given a reasonable opportunity to engage
with and assist the (NMC) investigation with the benefit of the
key documentation relating to the events in question, as I would
have wished," he said in a statement.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Noor Zainab Hussain in
Bengaluru, Saeed Azhar in Dubai;
Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Keith Weir)

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