The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has censured NMC Health Plc (NMC) for misleading the market about its debt.
NMC was a healthcare operator headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. It entered the FTSE100 in 2017. 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 USD 4 billion.
NMC was placed into administration in April 2020. NMC’s books and records and directors were based in UAE. 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.
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.
Steve Smart, Joint Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, 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.'