Shares in private hospitals jump after government allows independent vaccine procurement

Private hospital stocks jumped Wednesday morning on news of government approval to procure their own Covid-19 vaccines, led by Chularat Hospital (CHG) bouncing over 6 per cent.

CHG rose by 6.40 per cent to 3.66 baht as of 11.00 am, accounting for a transaction value of 255 million baht. Vibhavadi Medical Center (VIBHA) and Ekachai Medical Care (EKH) also gained 4.67 and 3.76 per cent, respectively.

Thai government has allowed private hospitals and local governments to secure their own vaccines as long as those are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, in an announcement in the Royal Gazette late Tuesday.

This created “positive sentiment to stock in the healthcare sector, enabling them to import vaccines more swiftly than planned during September to October,” said analysts at Phillip Capital Securities.

Maybank Kim Eng Securities noted that CHG could earn better Covid-related income as their social-security patients can test for Covid for free and they will be reimbursed by the government.

“However, with the share price rally of 39.8 per cent year-to-date for CHG, we believe that the good outlook is priced in,” Maybank said.

Bualuang analysts, meanwhile, expect the price to rally further, and have upgraded CHG’s call from ‘Hold’ to ‘Buy’ at the new target price of 3.90 baht, up from 3.30 baht, given its revised profit forecast from an increase in healthcare services revenue this year.

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