Just two of 600 blue chip European stocks gained last week

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The DAX stock index curve sits on a display screen above a toy model bull at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, operated by Deutsche Boerse AG, in Frankfurt, Germany.

Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Stoxx Europe 600 lost almost 12% last week to post its worst five-day run since the financial crisis in 2008. However, two of the 600 companies listed on the European blue chip benchmark emerged in the black.

London-listed shares of NMC Health jumped 9.7% over the week, but the Abu Dhabi-based hospital chain is fighting for its life and was forced to suspend trading of its shares on Thursday.

NMC stock has lost more than half of its value since December, when U.S. activist short-seller Muddy Waters questioned its financial disclosures.

The subsequent intermittent boosts to the share price have come largely as a result of takeover speculation and hopes of a debt restructure, but none of the cautious optimism has yet been vindicated.

The company’s bosses have since become embroiled in an accounting and governance scandal. Last week, NMC Chief Executive Prasanth Manghat was removed with immediate effect, and the company faces an investigation by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Carson Block, founder and director of Muddy Waters

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An independent internal investigation, led by former FBI director Louis Freeh, of the company’s books found a host of undisclosed loan agreements related to companies owned by its founder, Indian businessman B.R. Shetty.

NMC confirmed on Monday that it had appointed independent investment bank Moelis to advise the company in talks with lenders, and would seek an “informal standstill” in a bid to stabilize its financing. PwC and Allen & Overy have also been appointed as operational and legal advisers with immediate effect, the company said.

“NMC is currently fully focused on safeguarding operational liquidity to continue funding existing operations throughout its various subsidiaries,” the announcement said.

Meanwhile, Muddy Waters CEO Carson Block said in a statement following Manghat’s dismissal: “At this point, the company’s announcements speak for themselves and seem to be even more damning than our initial report was.”

Trading in the company’s shares is still suspended as of Monday.

The only other stock to finish the week in positive territory was French household appliance consortium Groupe SEB, which was 1.8% higher for the week by Friday’s close.

This came on the back of a sharp incline following the company’s full-year results on Thursday, which boasted growing sales and revenues. However, the stock had already given back these gains by mid-morning on Monday, falling 1.9%.

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