Thonburi Healthcare Group to Tap Myanmar for Growth

Thonburi Healthcare Group Plc, the top-performing health stock this year, expects to open a hospital in Yangon by June to bolster the company’s earnings outlook.

The $75-million, 200-bed facility is part of an 8-billion-baht investment plan through 2020 to expand services in Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations, Thonburi Healthcare chairman Boon Vanasin said in an interview Thursday.

“Rising incomes and underdeveloped healthcare systems create opportunities for exponential growth in neighbouring countries,” Dr Boon said.

Thai hospital operators have sought opportunities in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, lured by urbanisation and a growing middle class. Some of the providers are among the most richly valued stocks on the SET index, increasing pressure to find engines of expansion beyond the ageing population and medical tourism sector.

Aside from the expansion into Myanmar, Dr Boon said he’s also in talks with potential partners for new hospitals in Laos and Vietnam.

It’s a tough challenge for Thonburi Healthcare to compete with bigger rivals for foreign patients, but expanding internationally can help the company build brand recognition, said Mongkol Puangpetra, the head of research at KTB Securities (Thailand) Co in Bangkok.

Thonburi Healthcare trades at about 44 times blended forward 12-month earnings, the second-highest ratio in the SET Health Care Services index. The stock jumped as much as 5.7% Thursday to a record. Its 23% advance this year leads the 21-member Health Care gauge.


Source: The Bangkok Post


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