Abu Dhabi billionaire BR Shetty’s NMC plans review after short seller attack

London-listed NMC’s stock lost 47 per cent last week after the report



NMC Health shares gained after the company said it plans an independent review of assertions from “certain third parties,” partly recovering from a slump that followed allegations by short seller Muddy Waters Capital last week.

The company, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, has been under siege since Carson Block’s Muddy Waters said its financial statements hint at potential overpayment for assets, inflated cash balances and understated debt. The stock lost 47 per cent last week after the report.

NMC said last week that those claims are unfounded, and also denied a Financial Times article saying it planned to raise 200m euros ($222m) of off-balance-sheet debt.

The Abu Dhabi-based company said on Monday that it believes the current share price is not an accurate reflection of the company’s value. The review, by an accounting firm, will be overseen by a committee made up of a majority of independent directors. The shares rose as much as 32 per cent as of 10.30 am in London trading, but are still down 34 per cent since the short seller report.

“Details on the transactions and the company’s response this morning comes in line with investors’ need to understand what is happening” said Marie Salem, the head of institutions at Daman Securities. “This should have a positive impact going forward.”

Even after the publication of the Muddy Waters’ report, the stock retained 12 buy recommendations among analysts tracked by Bloomberg, along with one sell rating and no holds. Barclays analysts said last week that investors they’ve spoken to think recent share price declines “are an overreaction to little incremental new information.”

Shares of Finablr, also founded by Abu Dhabi-based billionaire Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, rose as much as 8.1 per cent in London on Monday. They fell 20 per cent last week.