UAE: Listed insurers report exposure to fraud-hit healthcare group
Source: Middle East Insurance Review | May 2020
UAE publicly-listed companies, including insurers, have begun reporting their exposure if any to NMC Health, the embattled healthcare operator, which is at risk of being placed into administration.
Regulators asked listed companies to declare their exposure to three entities, namely: NMC Health, UAE Exchange (whose operations are being overseen by the Central Bank of the UAE) and Finablr. NMC Health was founded in 1975 by BR Shetty who retains a majority stake in Finablr which is a financial services holding company whose largest local entity is UAE Exchange which is engaged in remittances, foreign exchange and bill payment services.
Problems at NMC Health, previously touted as the UAE’s largest private healthcare company, surfaced last December when investment firm Muddy Waters Capital published a detailed report alleging that NMC had misled investors and failed to make necessary disclosures, including related party transactions and true debt burden. NMC Health’s debt is now estimated to be around $6.6bn, some of which were obtained through undisclosed facilities. Government-affiliated insurer, National Health Insurance Co (Daman), stepped in to pay the February 2020 salaries of employees of the troubled healthcare group.
Banks have the greatest exposure. As of 5 April, banks in the UAE had declared a combined exposure of about AED8.04bn ($2.2bn) in the form of loans to NMC Health and its subsidiaries, reported The National.
Almost 20 listed insurers have declared investments and other relationships with NMC Health, Finablr and UAE Exchange. The insurers include: ADNIC; Abu Dhabi National Takaful; Al Sagr Insurance; Alliance Insurance; Arabian Scandinavian Insurance –Takaful; Dar Al Takaful; Dubai Insurance; Dubai Islamic Insurance & Reinsurance; Emirates Insurance; Methaq Takaful; National General Insurance; Oman Insurance; Orient; Orient UNB Takaful; SALAMA; Sharjah Insurance; Takaful Emarat; and Watania. M
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