Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Health sector stocks hit hard by Covid-19 shutdown measures

Apr 30. 2020
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By THE NATION

Stocks in the health industry as of April 28 have slid by 18.13 per cent compared to the same period last year and are down by 19.3 per cent from end of 2019, Yuanta Securities Ltd reported.

“Bumrungrad Hospital [BH], the industry leader, reported Bt4.179 billion profit for the first quarter of 2020, a 11.7 per cent drop year on year, due to a 2.5 per cent decrease in Thai patients and a 16.4 per cent drop in foreign patients,” said the company. “The main reason for this is the Covid-19 outbreak that has led to the government shutting down international and inter-provincial borders and limiting travel."

Yuanta Securities estimated the first quarter turnover of seven companies in the health industry -- BDMS, Bangkok Chain Hospital (BCH), Vibhavadi Medical Center (VIBHA), Praram 9 Hospital (PR9), Ekachai Medical Care (EKH), Ladprao General Hospital (LPH) and Thai Nakarin Hospital (TNH) -- to average Bt2.615 billion, a 26 per cent drop year on year due to the outbreak.

“Hospitals that rely on income from social securities can still make profit as normal,” said the company. “Although the number of customers paying in cash is declining, the increase in social security compensation rate at around 5.6 per cent will help make up for the lost revenue.”

However, the company warned that hospitals relying on income from foreign customers will be heavily affected. “We estimate BDMS to turn in Bt2.024 billion profit, a 31 per cent decrease, PR9 to report Bt69 million profit, a 20 per cent decrease, and EKH will have only Bt17 million profit, a 61 per cent drop.”

“The situation in the second quarter could worsen due to lockdown measures that Thai government has used since early April and will persist until end of May,” said the company. “However, the situation in the second half of the year could improve as the number of confirmed cases in Thailand is declining at a steady rate.”

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