UAE-based NMC Health’s debt up at $6.6 billion

NMC Health, which has been in crisis since US firm Muddy Waters’ short attack, revised its debt position from $5 billion earlier in March. (NMC Health Facebook)
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Updated 24 March 2020

UAE-based NMC Health’s debt up at $6.6 billion

  • The company revised its debt position from $5 billion earlier in March
  • Concerns that founder BR Shetty’s financial troubles could be spreading to other companies he is associated with

Troubled UAE hospital operator NMC Health said on Tuesday its debt pile now stood at $6.6 billion, much higher than earlier estimates, and that it has appointed a former PwC partner as chief restructuring officer to tackle the problem.
The company, which has been in crisis since US firm Muddy Waters’ short attack, revised its debt position from $5 billion earlier in March, and named Matthew J. Wilde as chief restructuring officer.
“We are certain that his expertise and experience will bring significant benefit to the Group as NMC develops a plan to address the Group’s financial indebtedness,” NMC said.
Wilde has been involved in many major restructurings in the Middle East region in recent years including DubaiWorld, DryDocks World, Carillion, Al Jaber Group and OW Bunker, NMC said.
NMC’s stock price had dwindled in value before being placed on suspension since Muddy Waters questioned its financial statements in December. Following which, NMC’s founder BR Shetty stepped down from the board last month.
There are concerns that Shetty’s financial troubles could be spreading to other companies he is associated with, including payments group Finablr, which he helped found in 2018.
There are cheques that could go up to $50 million, which may have been used as security for financing arrangements for the benefit of third parties, NMC said as it announced the departure of finance chief Prasanth Shenoy after a period of extended leave for ill health.
On the coronavirus outbreak, NMC said it has taken steps to meet the health and safety needs of the community.


UAE carrier Air Arabia lays off more staff due to COVID-19 impact

Updated 4 min 38 sec ago

UAE carrier Air Arabia lays off more staff due to COVID-19 impact

  • Latest job cuts were a ‘last alternative’ for Sharjah-based airline
  • Air Arabia’s profit fell by 45 percent in the first quarter

DUBAI: Air Arabia, the only listed carrier in the United Arab Emirates, has made further job cuts due to the business impact of COVID-19, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
The Sharjah-based airline, which has about 2,000 employees, did not say how many employees had been affected. It laid off 57 employees in May.
The latest job cuts were a “last alternative” after the airline took a series of steps in past months to protect jobs, the spokesman said, without elaborating.
Air Arabia, like other airlines in the UAE, has operated few, limited services since grounding passenger flights in March.
It is not clear when normal operations will resume.
Air Arabia’s profit fell by 45 percent in the first quarter, which the airline blamed on the coronavirus pandemic which has crushed global travel demand.
Air Arabia also operates out of UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah emirate and has bases in Egypt and Morocco.