NMC says sorry for salary delay, pledges to correct issue soon

NMC, whose shares are quoted on the London Stock Exchange, is the largest health care provider in the UAE.

  
General view of NMC specialty hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 11, 2020. Image for illustrative purposes.

General view of NMC specialty hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 11, 2020. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Satish Kumar

Embattled hospital operator NMC Health, which had delayed February salaries to its staff, has assured employees that it is "working diligently to correct this payroll issue" at the earliest and hope to have a solution soon.

Michael Davis, acting CEO of the healthcare provider, which has been beset by a deluge of problems ever since US-based short seller Muddy Waters challenged its financial record, in a circular apologised to the staff for delaying their salaries, but hinted that since the February salary would be "officially delinquent as of March 16," it could be expected before that date.

NMC delays paying February salaries to staff

"This past week has been one of the most difficult in recent NMC history. For the first time in several years, NMC was unable to pay your salaries on the 25th of the month. In the UAE, salary payments are due the first day following the end of the month, and by the Ministry of Labour rules, we have 15 days after that to complete payroll. Therefore, our February salaries will be officially delinquent as of March 16th," Davis said.

Davis also assured employees that the company's board of directors has brought in a team of international experts to assist it in restructuring and reorganising its finances "to better position NMC for long-term, sustainable success."

NMC, whose shares are quoted on the London Stock Exchange, is the largest health care provider in the UAE, where most of its 2,000 doctors and 20,000 nursing and ancillary staff are based. It has operations in 18 other countries around the world, including a venture in Saudi Arabia.

NMC, which has asked its lenders for a standstill in debt repayment while it tries to renegotiate around $2 billion of liabilities, has lost 70 per cent in share value before they were suspended on the LSE, wiping billions of dollars of value off the company and its shareholders.

Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on February 27 it would investigate the finances of NMC, whose shares were suspended on the London Stock Exchange in late February.

 

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