UAE’s NMC Health tumbles after major investors sell shares worth $493 million

NMC Health launched an independent review of its finances after short-seller Muddy Waters questioned the value of its assets and cash balance. (AFP)
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Updated 08 January 2020

UAE’s NMC Health tumbles after major investors sell shares worth $493 million

  • The deal, led by NMC’s second- and third-largest shareholders Saeed Al-Qebaisi and Khaleefa Al-Muhairi, was priced at 1,200 pence per share
  • Investors sold the shares to repay some of their debt and the debt of some corporate entities owned by them

Two major investors in NMC Health have launched a discounted share sale worth $493 million (£375 million), sending its stock down 19 percent weeks after a short-selling attack by US firm Muddy Waters.
The deal, led by NMC’s second- and third-largest shareholders Saeed Al-Qebaisi and Khaleefa Al-Muhairi, was priced at 1,200 pence per share, a bookrunner for the deal said on Wednesday, adding that the sale was oversubscribed.
The price is at a discount of about 20 percent to the company’s last close of 1,494.5 pence on the London Stock Exchange.
The statement also said Al-Qebaisi and Al-Muhairi have sold shares worth about $72 million in payments firm Finablr, which is co-chaired by Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, also the founder and co-chairman of NMC.
NMC shares were down 15.8 percent at 1,258.5 pence and Finablr was 19 percent lower at 125.1 pence as of 0856 GMT.
The investors sold the shares to repay some of their debt and the debt of some corporate entities owned by them, the bookrunner said, adding that the move will also remove the pledge on NMC shares under a borrowing agreement with two banks.
Following the transactions, Al-Muhairi will retain a 12.5 percent stake in NMC, while Al-Qebaisi will keep a 4.7 percent holding, according to the statement.
Prior to the sale, Al-Qebaisi held 17.43 percent of NMC shares while Al-Muhairi held 14.69 percent, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
NMC, the United Arab Emirates’ largest private health care provider, has launched an independent review of its finances after short-seller Muddy Waters questioned the value of its assets and cash balance while announcing its short position.
Earlier this week NMC said the review will initially assess its cash balances as of Dec. 15.
Short selling involves borrowing an asset and selling it with the aim of buying it back at a cheaper price and making a profit.
Muddy Waters, founded by American Carson Block, is known in financial markets for declaring short equity positions on the basis of its in-house research.
Including session losses, shares in NMC, which has denied the allegations, have lost about half of their value since the report was launched.


Iraq pledges full compliance with OPEC+ oil cuts

Updated 07 August 2020

Iraq pledges full compliance with OPEC+ oil cuts

  • Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud, the Saudi Arabian energy minister, and his Iraqi counterpart, Ihsan Ismail, reaffirmed their commitment to the cuts
  • Under tough economic pressure, Iraq had struggled to meet the full cuts, but Ismail promised to reach 100 percent this month

DUBAI: Iraq has pledged to meet in full its obligations under the OPEC+ oil production cuts that have been credited with rebalancing global crude markets after the mayhem of April’s “Black Monday” when prices crashed around the world.

In a telephone call between Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud, Saudi Arabian energy minister, and his Iraqi counterpart, Ihsan Ismail, the two men reaffirmed their commitment to the cuts, which have helped to pull the oil price back from historic lows.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, has more than doubled in the past three months.

Under tough economic pressure, Iraq had struggled to meet the full cuts, but Ismail promised to reach 100 percent this month. Iraq has now committed itself to an ambitious program of compensation to make up for past overproduction.

Iraq will further reduce production by 400,000 barrels per day this month and next, Ismail said, bringing its total cut to 1.25 million barrels daily. That level of cuts could be adjusted when final estimates of compliance are assessed by the six “secondary sources” that monitor OPEC+ output.

“The two ministers stressed that efforts by OPEC+ countries toward meeting production cuts, and the extra cuts under the compensation regime, will enhance oil market stability, help accelerate the rebalancing of global oil markets, and send a constructive signal to the market,” a joint statement added.

Prince Abdulaziz thanked Ismail for his efforts to improve Iraq’s compliance with the agreement.

Iraq had been the biggest laggard in the move toward 100 percent compliance by the 23 members of the OPEC+ alliance.

Officials in Riyadh told Arab News that Iraqi compliance had reached about 90 percent, a high level by the country’s previous standards but still short of the new targets.

Saudi Arabia has been forcefully advocating full compliance with the targets in an effort to remove oil from the global market as demand is still badly affected by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The oil market will be under the spotlight later this month when the joint ministerial monitoring committee of OPEC+ energy ministers convenes virtually in the most recent of the monthly meetings set up to oversee the state of the global industry.

Oil had another strong week on global markets, breaking through the $45 barrier for the first time since early March on signs that the glut in US oil stocks was easing, as well as reductions in the amount of “floating crude” stored in tankers on the world’s oceans.

The price spiked on news of the Beirut explosion, which some analysts believed could herald a deterioration in regional security and a threat to oil exports.

Brent crude was trading at $44.70 on international markets.