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13/11/2017

Markets in Asia were generally lower as traders cashed in their positions after the recent bull run. “We head into the new week with increasing focus from market participants around a number of red flags that suggest an increased prospect of a tactical pullback in risk assets,” said Chris Weston, market analyst for g+ in Melbourne, this morning. The Nikkei was down 0.70% at lunchtime with the ASX also lower. The regional exception was China. Single’s Day was a hit again this year with a record US$25 billion spent on Saturday. The world’s largest shopping event is taken as a proxy for consumer sentiment in the country and, beating last year’s figures by 39%, little surprise that the Shanghai Composite was up 0.30% with the Hang Seng snapping at its heels and up 0.22%.
 
The flow of quarterly results continues. The figures are mostly in for the listed hospital operators in Thailand and the news is good. After a quiet second quarter the biggest operators in Q3 have seen profits grow in the high single figures, while it has been a case of double digit growth for the smaller players.
 
In Singapore, Q&M Dental Group, which operates the largest network of private dental outlets in Singapore, has reported a 28% rise in Q3 profits to S$3.6 million (US$2.7 million) on revenues that fell 5% to S$27.6 million. The decrease of S$1.4 million was mainly due to the deconsolidation of Aoxin Q&M Dental Group from a subsidiary to an associate in April. Cordlife Group, a healthcare company which provides cord blood and cord lining banking services, has returned to profitability with S$649,000 profits for the first quarter of the year on revenues that rose 13.2% to S$16.6 million. This is thanks to increased demand for the storage of cord blood and cord lining stem cells and an absence of non-operational finance costs. CEO Wong Chiang Yin said that the group is now “actively exploring acquisition and investment opportunities to augment its market leadership in the region” specifically in diagnostics. And China Medical International (CMIG) has reported a reduced net loss of S$1.1 million for Q3 on revenues that fell 48% to S$382,000. The group continues to suffer stiff competition in China as well as increased regulatory oversight. Plans to acquire the radiology and diagnostic businesses from Clarity Health in Singapore have also fallen through.
 
New Zealand-based cancer diagnostics company, Pacific Edge (PEB) has completed its NZ$21.3 million (US$15.1 million) underwritten 1-for-6 rights offer. It was selling 66.6 million shares at NZ$0.32 per share which is a hefty 26.6% discount to the theoretical ex-rights price of NZ$0.44 per share. Almost three-quarters were taken up. And on Friday, the shortfall bookbuild component was completed at the same price with support from both institutional and other eligible shareholders. The offer was fully underwritten by First NZ Capital Securities.
 
IFR Reuters reports that investment firm TPG Capital has closed a A$135 million (US$104 million) six-year unitranche financing to acquire a controlling stake in Sydney-based full-service contract research organisation Novotech from Mercury Capital. Barings, Nomura and Partners Group funded the unitranche, which also included a A$15 million super-senior revolving credit from HSBC.
 
Following a flurry of Q3 results last week in Singapore, some analyst reports are in. CIMB Research downgrades Parkway Life REIT, which is owned by IHH Healthcare, to “hold” though with a slightly higher target price of S$2.93. “While we still like PLife REIT for its earnings stability with no downside risk for 95% of its gross revenue, share price had outperformed significantly in recent months,” writes analyst Lock Mun Yee. Rachel Tan at DBS Research is a little more bullish. She maintains her “buy” with a raised target price of S$3.10 (US$2.28) at PLife REIT. It “offers one of the strongest earnings visibility profiles among SREITs, with a weighted average lease expiry of close to nine years,” she says. Tan has also upgraded women’s healthcare specialist Singapore O&G (SOG) to “hold” with a raised target price of S$0.52. “Looking forward, we estimate a stronger growth of 14-16% in FY18F-FY19F, largely led by organic growth with contributions from the ramp-up in cancer and paediatrics divisions, contributions from its new fertility division and recovery in O&G and dermatology, as well as inorganic growth from potential m&as given that SOG has been inactive in the m&a space for a while,” she notes. Jarick Seet at RHB Invest downgrades TalkMed Group, a provider of medical oncology and palliative care health care services, to “neutral” though with a higher target price of S$0.72 due to better-than-expected Q3 earnings. And John Cheong at Maybank Kim Eng maintains his “hold” and target price of S$1.05 on medical glove manufacturer Riverstone Holdings saying that the positive outlook has been priced in.
 
The Wall Street Journal reports that private equity firm Blackstone Group is planning to sell its majority stake in a Chinese medical devices manufacturer Xinrong Best Medical Instrument for US$400 million. Morgan Stanley is managing the deal. Founded in 200), Blackstone invested US$100 million in the company in September 2014. Xinrong manufactures orthopaedic devices.
 
ASX-listed G Medical Innovations (GMV) has signed a binding MoU with First Channel (FCL) to distribute its devices in both India and Taiwan. The total value of the deal based on minimum commitments is expected to be US$405 million. HealthInvestor Asia reported on the deal last week.
 
In people news, contract genomics organisation WuXi NextCODE has appointed John Gu as chief digital officer, leading data onboarding for the company's growing China platform. Gu, who joins the company from digital innovation consultancy Silver Sand Technologies, was formerly chief information officer for Baidu, the leading internet service provider and search engine in China. And Suvarn Valaisathien has stepped down from the board of Bumrungrad Hospital, Thailand’s second-largest listed hospital operator. In a statement he said that he was unable to continue due to work pressures. He has been on the board since 2011.
 
And finally, in our must read for the day, Singapore’s minister for health Gan Kim Yong explains why the private sector needs to get behind the National Electronic Health Record System.

Posted on: 13/11/2017 UTC+08:00


News

Medical diagnostic imaging services provider Capitol Health has said that it expects to return to profitability in the next financial year and has upgraded its outlook for the year.
Paragon Care, a leading distributor and manufacturer supplying medical equipment to hospitals, has said that it is “targeting strong growth in 2018 across all key metrics”.
Malaysian medical glove manufacturer Supermax Group has reported a 42.8% jump in Q1 profits to M$27.9 million (US$6.8 million) on revenues that 16% to M$312 million.
At its annual general meeting, international pathology, imaging and medical centres operator Sonic Healthcare reaffirmed guidance for the year. Chief executive Colin Goldschmidt said that the first quarter of the 2019 financial year confirmed expectations that underlying earnings would grow between 6% and 8% on a constant currency basis.
It has been another great quarter for China Cord Blood Corporation (CCBC), the country’s largest provider of cord blood storage and ancillary services. For the second quarter in a row, profits more than doubled. They came in at US$10.2 million.
New Zealand-based medical device manufacturer Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has reported a steady set of first half figures. Profits were up 4% to NZ$81.3 million (US$55.3 million) on revenues that rose 8% to NZ$458.4 million.
Retirement village operator Arvida has reported a 14.5% slump in profits for the first half of the year to NZ$14.5 million (US$9.9 million). At the same time, revenues were up 27.9% to NZ$60 million.
Medical device manufacturer Microport Scientific Corporation plans to acquire the cardiac rhythm management (CRM) business of London-based medical device manufacturer LivaNova for US$190 million.



Analysis

The promise of a bottom in Singapore’s office market has caused its ranking as an investment market to soar from next-to-bottom last year to third in this year’s “Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific 2018” report, a real estate forecast jointly published by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC.
Kamal Brar, vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific for data software company Hortonworks, looks at how data analytics can provide effective and affordable healthcare in Singapore.
The latest Sun Life Financial Asia Diabetes Awareness Study reveals an alarming knowledge gap in diabetes. A third of Asian women who are or were pregnant in the past three years are unaware of the risk of developing gestational diabetes in pregnancy, while one in seven births in Asia is currently affected by gestational diabetes.
Gan Kim Yong, Singapore’s minister for health, explains why the private sector needs to get behind the National Electronic Health Record System.
Business leaders in Asia Pacific’s healthcare industry are showing urgency in embracing the fourth industrial revolution, according to the Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Survey. More than three-quarters of them believe that they need to transform to a digital business to enable future growth and yet only a quarter said that they have a full digital strategy in place today.
An agreement for an additional US$15 million funding from the World Bank will be used to expand health and nutrition coverage in the Lao People's Democratic Republic. It is expected to benefit more than 1 million people across 14 provinces.
Bart Van den Mooter, CEO of the TforG Group, looks at the drivers behind the rapid growth in Asia’s medical tourism market.
The ambitious healthcare agenda under Moon Jae-in's liberal presidency will seek to expand national health insurance reimbursement and limit the burden of excessive medical costs, while overhauling the healthcare system. BMI Research looks at the winners and the losers in the presidential agenda.


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