Premarket London: NMC to Launch Independent Audit Review

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© Reuters. © Reuters. — Here is a summary of the most important regulatory news releases from the London Stock Exchange on Monday, 23rd December. Please refresh for updates.

  • UAE-focused hospital operator NMC Health (LON:) said it has commissioned an independent review by external auditors to examine the allegations made last week by short seller Muddy Waters Research.
  • NMC’s shares lost half their value last week after Muddy Waters, owned by Carson Block, accused it of inflating its asset values, understating its debt and making undeclared related-party transactions.
  • Despite publishing a detailed rebuttal, NMC’s shares fell 15% on Friday alone after the Financial Times said it had held talks to raise off-balance sheet debt, a charge that indirectly supported one of Block’s allegations.
  • NMC said in its statement on Monday that it is “disappointed with the very material and, we believe, unwarranted share price reaction.”
    • BHP Group (LON:) said Andrew Mackenzie will leave the group at the end of March, three months earlier than scheduled.
    • Mackenzie is passing the reins as CEO to Mike Henry as of January 1, and the mining group said it’s confident the transition is “proceeding well and ahead of schedule.”
    • Mackenzie will receive around 7% less in stock under the company’s long-term incentive program as a result.
  • GlaxoSmithKline (LON:) confirmed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had refused to approve the long-acting HIV treatment made by its majority-owned subsidiary ViiV Healthcare.
  • “The reasons given in the Complete Response Letter relate to Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls (CMC),” GSK said. “There have been no reported safety issues related to CMC and there is no change to the safety profile of the products used in clinical trials to date. ViiV Healthcare will work closely with the FDA to determine the appropriate next steps for this New Drug Application.”
  • Reuters had originally reported the FDA’s rejection on Sunday.
    • Anglo American (LON:) said it has received the next phase of its operating licence for its Minas-Rio tailings facility in Brazil.
    • “This is an important milestone for our Minas-Rio iron ore operation in Brazil towards reaching its full potential,” said Seamus French, CEO of Bulk Commodities. The company expects to produce 23 million tons of iron ore at Minas Rio in 2019, with an FOB cost of around $24/ton.
  • Defense group Cobham (LON:) published a list of the undertakings it had made to win government approval for its takeover by a U.S. private equity group.
  • They include maintenance of an HQ in the UK for each of its Communications & Connectivity, Aviation Services UK and Missions Systems businesses, and promises on the level of employment and R&D spending in the U.K.
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