The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has censured Abu Dhabi-based NMC Health plc (NMC) for misleading the market about its debt. It will not receive a financial penalty.
“The FCA, with co-operation from NMC’s administrators and international partners, secured material which made clear that the picture it presented to the market was inaccurate,” the FCA said.
“As it is anticipated that no funds will remain after creditor claims have been met, the FCA has imposed a censure rather than a financial penalty which would reduce the funds available to creditors.”
NMC is a healthcare operator headquartered in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which entered the FTSE100 in 2017.
At its peak in August 2018, NMC had a market value of £8.6bn. But when NMC was delisted in February 2020 its value had fallen to £2bn.
NMC was placed into administration in April 2020. It hired a new CEO in February 2023.
As recently as this month the company gave the appearance of continuing business as normal. on 6 November, NMC Healthcare announced the rebranding of Bareen International Hospital in Abu Dhabi to NMC Royal Hospital – Mohammed Bin Zayed City.
“The hospital’s new branding is a symbol of the many initiatives taken to personalise and enhance the experience of each patient while also delivering upon NMC’s standards of quality care,” NMC said.
Speaking at the ceremony, David Hadley, CEO of NMC Healthcare, who joined the company in February, said: “We are honoured to welcome this esteemed hospital to the NMC network and build upon its proud history of providing healthcare services to the Mohammed Bin Zayed City community.
“We are deeply committed to being a trusted, relied-upon partner to our patients and provide them with the quality, personalised care that NMC is known for.”
In its statement today, the FCA said: “Between March 2019 and February 2020, NMC published a series of financial statements and several clarification announcements, which contained materially inaccurate information about its debt position.”
The FCA’s investigation found that NMC had been operating dual sets of accounting records.
“The financial statements disclosed publicly misled investors by understating its debts by as much as US$4bn,” the FCA said.
But in its November news release, NMC said it is “the largest integrated private healthcare platform in the UAE and is the third largest in Oman, with over 13,000 employees and about 5.5 million patient interactions annually through 85 operating facilities that include medical centres, long term care facilities, day surgery centres, fertility clinics and home health services.
“Over the last 48 years, NMC has earned the trust of millions, by delivering personalised care, genuine concern and sincere commitment to the overall well-being of the communities it serves.”
NMC’s books and records and directors were based in UAE, the FCA said.
Steve Smart, joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “The concealment of NMC’s debt position and subsequent collapse has left creditors including investors out of pocket.
“While the administrator has sought to recover any value and distribute to creditors, the FCA has sought, through the public censure, to explain how and why investors were misled to ensure that lessons are learnt.
“We have engaged with law enforcement agencies abroad and will continue to provide any further support they may request to help combat financial crime.”
NMC has been approached by Health & Protection for comment.