Oman lenders report RO 15.8m in combined exposure to NMC

Public listed banks and financial institutions in the Sultanate have so far reported direct and indirect exposure to the tune of around RO 15.8 million to the UAE-based healthcare services group, NMC Health, which is currently being restructured following the discovery of huge debts on its balance sheet.

On Tuesday, Bank Muscat, the Sultanate’s biggest lender, affirmed that it has no direct exposure to the troubled Abu Dhabi headquartered group.  The Bank, however, noted that it has extended a guaranteed limit of RO 250,000 to Unimoni Exchange, a related company in Oman. The guarantee is secured against 100 per cent cash margin, it stressed.

Four other Oman-based lenders and financing houses — Bank Nizwa, HSBC Bank Oman, Tageer Finance and Sohar International Bank — have so far disclosed direct and indirect exposure to the embattled NMC Group.

Earlier on Monday, Reuters reported that the administrators of NMC Health have set up a new board for the London-listed company that brings in four new non-executive directors with international restructuring experience. Previous board members, including executive chairman Faisal Belhoul have been removed, the administrators said in a statement.

The move came after London’s High Court on Thursday placed NMC Health into administration, on the application of one of its biggest lenders, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).

Michael Brenden Davis remains as interim chief executive officer and chief operating officer, but does not sit on the company’s board, the administrators from Alvarez & Marsal said.

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