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Sat 25 Jan 2020 12:39 AM

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Shetty family's fortune drops by $1.5bn since Muddy Waters claim

Tough start to 2020 for billionaire clan behind financial services firm Finablr and UAE-based hospital operator NMC Health

Shetty family's fortune drops by $1.5bn since Muddy Waters claim

Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, 77, founded NMC in 1975 after moving to Abu Dhabi from his native India.

The year is starting off much like the last one ended for the Shetty family.

The billionaire clan behind financial services firm Finablr and UAE-based hospital operator NMC Health has seen its fortune drop more than $1.5 billion since it came under fire in December from short seller Carson Block.

The latest blow came Friday after a filing revealed the Shettys pledged more than half their stake in Finablr to secure loans. The payment processor’s shares tumbled as much as 34 percent in London.

A spokesman for the family had no immediate comment when reached by email.

The family’s troubles began last month when Block’s Muddy Waters Capital issued a report criticising NMC’s accounts and disclosing a short position, sending shares down.

Since then, a cyberattack rocked one of Finablr’s popular brands - Travelex Holdings - and NMC plunged again after investors sold shares worth almost $500 million.

The healthcare firm has named former FBI Director Louis Freeh to examine Block’s claims.

Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, 77, founded NMC in 1975 after moving to Abu Dhabi from his native India. It’s now the United Arab Emirates’ biggest private healthcare provider. He created Finablr in 2018 to consolidate his finance brands and listed the company on the London Stock Exchange last year.

The family’s stakes in both firms were worth almost $3 billion before Muddy Waters published its report, but they have been cut in half since, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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