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NMC Health turmoil deepens as founder and co-chair Shetty resigns
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NMC Health's founder BR Shetty has resigned as co-chair of the troubled UAE healthcare group, the latest twist in weeks of turmoil that has seen the company's shares collapse as doubts emerged about top investors' holdings.

Its shares fell again on Monday, by as much as 9%, after the company also said that Chief Investment Officer Hani Buttikhi and another director had resigned. The directors were linked to Shetty and other top partners.

NMC, the United Arab Emirates' largest private healthcare provider, operates clinics and hospitals, specialised maternity and fertility clinics, and long-term care homes across 19 countries, treating over 7.5 million patients in 2018.

UK businessman HJ Mark Tompkins would now be the group's sole chairman, the company said in its brief statement on Monday, which did not divulge details on why Shetty stepped down.

Indian billionaire Shetty had already said last week that he was "stepping back" from board duties after he informed NMC of a potentially inaccurate reporting of his holdings as the company also battles a short selling-attack from Muddy Waters.

Shetty had joined NMC's board in 2011. He and NMC could not be immediately reached for further comment.

Last week, NMC vice-chairman Khalifa Butti Omeir Bin Yousef also stepped down from the board as NMC also said that there had been a series of complex shareholder dealings involving Shetty, Bin Yousef and another top investor, Saeed Butti Al Qebaisi.

NMC has been thrown into turmoil since short-seller Muddy Waters raised questions over the group's finances late last year, and this year when the share arrangements emerged.

NMC on Monday did not provide any further details on Shetty's shareholdings. Refinitiv data shows he is NMC's second-biggest shareholder.

Born in the southern Indian state of Karnataka in 1942, Shetty founded NMC in 1975. His other ventures include UAE Exchange, Neo Pharma and BRS Ventures, and at one point Shetty had also hoped to make an Indian film epic.

NMC listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2012 and was added to the blue chip FTSE 100 index in 2017.

The company's shares pared some losses and were down about 2% at 759.8 pence by 10:12 GMT.

They have fallen around 70% in value since Muddy Waters' claims in December, drawing an expression of interest in the company from private equity firm GKSD Investment.

NMC is also conducting a separate review to look into the short-seller's claims.

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