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NMC Health removes CEO as investigation into finances continues

FILE PHOTO: General view of NMC specialty hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

(Reuters) - NMC Health <NMC.L> fired Chief Executive Prasanth Manghat and granted its finance chief extended sick leave, the healthcare company said on Wednesday after the firm unveiled details from its ongoing investigation into its finances.

London-listed NMC said after Wednesday's market close that it had appointed Chief Operating Officer Michael Davis as interim CEO to succeed Manghat and said Chief Financial Officer Prashanth Shenoy had been placed on longer leave.

The group's shares have lost about two thirds of their value since U.S.-based short-seller Muddy Waters late last year questioned the company's financial statements. NMC had said at the time that the report was "false and misleading".

Its shares closed 6.6% higher before Wednesday's statement.

Indian billionaire and NMC founder BR Shetty resigned as the firm's co-chairman this month, after British regulators said they were looking into NMC following a disclosure that he had misstated the size of his NMC stake.

NMC has launched its own investigation into its finances, led by former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation boss Louis Freeh.

NMC said the investigation committee was reviewing the drawdown of NMC facilities that had not been disclosed or approved by the board.

The company also said it had suspended a member of its treasury team in relation to possible discrepancies in its bank statements and ledger entries, and said it would be unable to publish its annual results till at least the end of April.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey and Edmund Blair)