HealthInvestor Asia Summit 2018
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09/02/2018

The late sell-off on Wall Street last night, spooked markets in Asia which dropped to two-year lows. “The Dow and S&P 500 are now technically in correction territory as they have both fallen over 10% from their highs. While such a correction was expected by many people, the pace of it is somewhat alarming,” said William O’Loughlin, local investment analyst, at Rivkin Securities in Sydney. Chinese markets – dominated by retail investors – were particularly hit. The Shanghai Composite crashed more than 4% with the Hang Seng down more than 3%. No Asian bourse was in positive territory. Safe haven buying of the yen saw the Nikkei lose more than 3%. It recovered slightly in afternoon trading, but it is still down around 9% on the week. US Treasuries, however, were little changed. The 10-year pulled back marginally to 2.83%. Stephen Innes, head of trading APAC at online multi-asset trader OANDA in Singapore, reckons that markets are hell-bent on a 3% yield. It is not the yield itself that is the problem, rather the pace that has caused all of the problems. “The rapidity of the moves has caught the markets by surprise, and we are going through the predictable panicked repricing of most asset classes,” he said. The proximity of the Lunar New Year holidays is not going to help. Expect to see traders close down positions with increasing rapidity next week.

In a move that could resonate across the sector, Nasdaq-listed biopharmaceutical provider Sinovac Biotech has (at long last) filed its going-private transaction. It had been expected since early 2016. If the process goes smoothly, then a number of other Chinese healthcare names listed in the US could follow: notably iKang Healthcare Group, China’s largest private preventive healthcare services provider, and Concord Medical Services Holdings, the operator of the largest network of radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging centres in China. Not that this will entirely stop the flow of Chinese names that want to list in the US. Chinese online pharmacy and health service platform New Peak Group has plans for a US$150 million US IPO at some point this year with JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley on the deal.
 
Paragon Care, a leading distributor and manufacturer supplying medical equipment to hospitals, is to raise A$69.8 million (US$54.6 million) in a fully underwritten offer on the ASX. The offer includes an A$26.6 million institutional placement and a 1-for-2.8 accelerated entitlement offer to raise A$43.2 million. The issue price is A$0.725 per share which is a 4.8% discount to Paragon’s VWAP on 6 February. Bell Potter and Shaw and Partners are acting as joint lead managers and underwriters to the placement and entitlement offer.
 
Higher sales have given a boost to third quarter results at Malaysian medical rubber glove manufacturer Hartalega Holdings. It reported a 70.7% jump in Q3 profits to M$113 million (US$28.9 million) on revenues that rose 32.2% to M$603.1 million. Analysts remain positive on the group, though cautious given that the share price has run up 100% over the past 10 months. TA Securities maintains its “sell” on Hartalega but raises its target price to M$7.80; Kenanga downgrades it to “underperform” but maintains its target price of M$10.00; PublicInvest Research maintains its “neutral” rating but revises its target price also to M$10.00; HLIB Research calls the results “commendable” and maintains its “hold” with a target price of M$10.70; and Malacca Securities upgrades the group to “hold” with a target price of M$11.00. Its shares were last seen down slightly at M$11.10.
 
Reuters reports that the venture capital arm of Ping An Insurance intends to raise up to US$1.3 billion for two healthcare-focused funds: one in US dollars and the other in yen. Both will focus on pre-IPO funding. As we reported earlier this week, two of the group’s healthcare companies have raised US$1.6 billion in private placement financing recently ahead of planned Hong Kong listings. Ping An Good Doctor, the world’s largest healthcare portal in terms of traffic, has completed a pre-IPO financing during which it raised US$400 million while Ping An Healthcare Technology, the largest technology-driven managed care platform in China, completed Series A funding of US$1.15 billion.
 
Harmonicare Medical, the largest private obstetrics and gynaecology specialty hospital group in China, has increased its loan to help the Rmb160 million (US$25.3 million) construction of Wuxi Harmonicare, a new obstetrics and gynaecology hospital in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. The loan now stands at Rmb152 million.
 
Kelantan-based Ain Medicare, which manufactures both blood and renal medical devices as well as pharmaceutical products, has raised M$20 million in a strategic investment from Malaysian government investment company A-BIO.
 
Beijing-based paediatric centre Dr Cuiyutao Healthcare has raised Series C plus funding led by New Oriental Education & Technology Group. The size of the funding has not been disclosed, but is understood to be in the millions of US dollars.
 
The AFR reports that Healthscope, Australia’s second largest private healthcare operator, could be looking to exit its Asian pathology business. In August, Singapore-based managed healthcare provider Fullerton Health acquired Healthscope’s standalone medical centre operations for A$55 million, and in 2016 Primary Health Care bought its domestic pathology business. UBS is likely to manage any deal that emerges. Healthscope has been looking to slim down after reporting an almost 40% decline in profits last year on revenues that only climbed a meagre 3.8% to A$2.3 billion. At its annual general meeting at the end of October, new CEO Gordon Ballantyne said that he was planning a thorough review of the group’s portfolio. Healthscope shares are down almost 16% over the past year.
 
Hang Seng-listed Golden Meditech has taken a 16.1% stake in Nanjing Ying Peng Hui Kang Medical Industry Investment Partnership for Rmb1.1 billion. The partnership includes a 65.4% stake in Global Cord Blood Corporation. Also see below.
 
Parkway Life REIT, which is owned by IHH Healthcare, is to acquire Konosu Nursing Home Kyoseien, a nursing rehabilitation facility in Greater Tokyo, under a sale-and-leaseback agreement with Iryouhoujin Shadan Kouaikai for ¥1.5 billion (US$13.7 million).
 
New Zealand-based cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge (PEB) has entered into an agreement with MediNcrease Health Plans, a US national provider network, to make its bladder cancer diagnostic test available. Financial terms have not been disclosed. On the news, PEB shares rose 3.8% to NZ$0.41 (US$0.30).
 
Singapore-listed medical supplies group QT Vascular has entered into a term sheet with an unnamed multinational relating to the company’s coronary products. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
 
China Cord Blood Corporation, the country’s largest provider of cord blood storage and ancillary services, is changing its name. It plans to call itself Global Cord Blood Corporation. “The board believes that the change of name better reflects the future development direction and business strategy of the company,” it said in a statement. It is holding a meeting to decide on the matter on 16 March.
 
Anthea Muir has been named chief executive of Australian cosmetic clinic chain Laser Clinics Australia with Paul McClintock as chairman. Muir comes from Luxottica Group while McClintock is best known as the former chairman of Medibank Private.
 
And finally, a new paper from KPMG looks at the disconnect between consumer expectations and the current healthcare experience of patients in Australia.

Posted on: 09/02/2018 UTC+08:00


News

Bumrungrad Hospital, Thailand’s second-largest listed hospital operator, has reported an 8.8% rise in annual profits to Bt3.9 billion (US$124.8 million) on revenues that 2.2% to Bt18.5 billion.
Half year profits at nursing staffing provider Bamboos Health Care Holdings jumped thanks to the increase in demand for services from both institutional and individual clients and, in particular, from hospitals for its placement service.
Singapore-listed investment holding company New Silkroutes Group (NSG) is to raise S$5 million (US$3.8 million) in a private placement. Proceeds will be used to develop healthcare education and training opportunities.
Al-‘Aqar Healthcare REIT, a subsidiary of KPJ Healthcare, has reported a 33.4% rise in profits for the year to M$84.6 million (US$21.6 million) on revenues that rose 19% to M$120.3 million. The increase in profits was mainly due to higher fair value gains on investment properties and lower financing cost following the redemption of an unrated M$80 million Sukuk in July last year.
Solid H1 figures and a steady outlook for the rest of the year saw shares in aged care operator Estia Heath jump almost 6% yesterday.
Parkway Life REIT, which is owned by IHH Healthcare, has paid up for yen funding, though with the possibility of US interest rate hikes, the move is a canny way of hedging forex exposure.
For the second time in seven months, RHT Health Trust, the first business trust listed on the Singapore stock exchange with a portfolio comprising healthcare assets in India, has flagged up an event of default on its S$120 million (US$88 million) 4.5% bonds due in July.
SGX-listed TalkMed Group, a provider of medical oncology and palliative care health care services, has reported a 15.4% decline in annual profits to S$36.9 million (US$27.9 million) on revenues that fell 11% to S$61.4 million.



Analysis

Nicole Hill, global director of healthcare at ALE, has a goal to make everyone and everything in healthcare connected. She explains how healthcare is entering a second wave of digitisation in Asia.
There is a simple reason why healthcare stocks on the SGX rose today. Yesterday’s budget was focused firmly on healthcare. Finance minister Heng Swee Keat announced not just an additional S$10.2 billion (US$7.8 million) for healthcare over the next year, he made clear that he was committed to the sector.
A new paper from KPMG looks at the disconnect between consumer expectations and the current healthcare experience of patients in Australia.
Gan Kim Yong, Singapore’s minister for health, explains why integrated care is important in the context of an ageing population.
Not having featured before 2015, Chinese investment in Australia’s healthcare sector has surged over the past three years. It has reached A$5.5 billion (US$4.5 billion) across 16 completed deals, according to a new report from KPMG and The University of Sydney Business School.
Michael Griffiths, regional director of healthcare at specialist insurance brokers Howden, explains how insurance is an answer to the region’s healthcare crisis.
Nomaan Mirza, principal equity specialist at the International Finance Corporation, looks at healthcare equity opportunities in emerging markets.
The healthcare industry in Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at 11.1% in 2018, representing one of the fastest growing regions in the world, as the global healthcare economy averages a 4.8% annual growth rate.
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