Ambulance enter the  Mediclinic  Heart Hospital . File Picture: SOWETAN/SUNDAY WORLD/TSHEKO KABISIA
Ambulance enter the Mediclinic Heart Hospital . File Picture: SOWETAN/SUNDAY WORLD/TSHEKO KABISIA

A change in Abu Dhabi’s medical aid regulations led dual-listed Mediclinic International’s share price to jump 17% to 855.61p in London on Thursday.

Its share price is likely to surge on the JSE when it reopens on Friday, after Thursday’s Freedom Day holiday.

Mediclinic issued a statement via the JSE’s Sens service on Friday morning saying a 20% co-payment for holders of Thiqa medical insurance cards had been waived by Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Abu Dhabi introduced the 20% co-payment system in July 2016, five months after Mediclinic acquired Al Noor Hospital Group for about £1.5bn.

In its interim results statement released in November, Mediclinic said it expected the co-payment system to cost it about 150-million United Arab Emirates Dirham (about R545m) in the financial year under way.

The Financial Times reported on Thursday that investors had written off Mediclinic’s investment in Al Noor, quoting JPMorgan Cazenove: "In our view, Mediclinic probably overpaid by around 50%, but if you got half the acquisition value back, that is 100p per share."

In Friday’s statement, Mediclinic cautioned that while the waiving of the 20% co-payment had been reported by the official news agency of the United Arab Emirates, Wakalat Anba’a al Emarat, it still awaited precise details of the changes from the Health Authority Abu Dhabi.

"Mediclinic will continue to monitor the regulatory environment and the extent to which these changes will affect the Middle East operating platform," the statement said.

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