NMC's administrators set for new round of hearings in dispute with Dubai Islamic Bank

Alvarez and Marsal had sought power over securities held by the bank relating to insurance payments

Alvarez & Marsal, the administrator of the UAE's biggest healthcare operator NMC Healthcare, secured a stay late on Thursday evening against an earlier ruling where its bid to reclaim power over securities held by Dubai Islamic Bank failed.

Administrators had brought a claim through the Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts, where NMC Healthcare and its 35 associated companies were placed into administration last year.

However, Dubai Islamic Bank, which declared an exposure of $425 million to NMC Health at the time of its collapse, successfully challenged the court's jurisdiction on Monday.

Administrators then secured a ruling on Thursday allowing them time to amend the claims it will pursue against DIB.

"We look forward to the further hearing on this matter, due to take place at the end of June", a statement on NMC Health's investor relations page said on Thursday.

NMC Health, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange, was placed into administration in April last year after an independent investigation uncovered more than $4.4bn of previously-undeclared debt at the company. Its UAE arm, NMC Healthcare, was placed into administration in the ADGM Courts in September after a number of claims were filed against it in UAE courts.

Alvarez & Marsal sought power over securities held by DIB relating to insurance payments pledged as collateral against loans. However, DIB's lawyers had successfully challenged the ADGM's jurisdiction to hear the case.

"The judgement is positive and has substantially accepted DIB's submission that ADGM Court had no jurisdiction to entertain" the administrator's claim over its security interests, DIB said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market on Thursday.

The lender said it "would be premature to comment further" as legal proceedings were continuing in the ADGM Court, and in the onshore Dubai and Sharjah courts.

Alvarez & Marsal said the ADGM Courts judgement handed down on Monday had "made clear that the joint administrators can proceed with their ADGM claim against DIB in relation to issues concerning their remuneration and expenses, and also proceed against the insurers" with a claim.

Administrators are continuing to drum up creditor support for a lender-led restructuring of NMC Health, which would see about $4bn worth of its debts being wiped out.

They are also continuing to pursue legal action against the company's former auditors and its directors with a view to recovering some of the missing money.

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