IHH: Opens RM 400mil Hospital in Johore



IHH Healthcare Bhd will soon open its RM400mil Gleneagles Medini Hospital in Nusajaya, Johor.

The hospital, located on a 6ha land in Medini Nusajaya, is the 14th hospital in Malaysia by Parkway Pantai after Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu, which was opened in May 2015.
 
Parkway Pantai is a unit of IHH Healthcare and is one of the region’s largest integrated private healthcare groups with a network of 23 hospitals and more than 5,000 beds throughout Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, India, China, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.
 
Gleneagles Malaysia CEO Datuk Amir Abdullah Firdaus said the opening of the new medical facility would put Iskandar Malaysia at the forefront of healthcare in South-East Asia.
 
“We have the latest medical equipment that can be found nowhere else in Johor except in Gleneagles Medini with 250 staffs including 40 consultants. Besides that, we will also be working closely with other agencies and our counterparts in particular from Singapore to attract foreign visitors to come here,” he said. 
 
With the medical tourism market growing rapidly, Malaysia as a whole stood to gain to meet the demand for better healthcare service. The current weakened ringgit, would be able to attract more foreign visitors to come here for medical healthcare.
 
“Our Gleneagles Penang has seen high number of foreign patients where 70% of those are Indonesians while Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur have a balance number of nationals as we are strategically located among various embassies and large number of South Korean community living within the area.
 
“The healthcare services provided by us also include plastic and reconstructive surgeries,” he said.
 
He added that the hospital would have five centres of excellence, namely cardiology, orthopedics, women and children, oncology and ophthalmology.
 
The hospital, according to Amir, is equipped and designed to meet Joint Commission International (JCI) and Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) accreditation standards.
 /theSTAR 30-10-2015


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Malaysia as Regional Halal Hub



Malaysia has called on global pharmaceutical producers to consider the country as the new regional hub to cater for the expanding global halal market.

In making the call, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said local industry players should also keep track of the latest know-how and technologies.

"Local industry players should double their efforts to position Malaysia at the forefront of the global healthcare and pharmaceutical industry," he said when opening the Halal Initiatives in Healthcare Industry Forum here today.

Also present was Halal Industry Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin.

Ahmad Zahid said the global demand for halal pharmaceuticals is estimated to be worth RM 349 bil (USD 82 bil) but the current supply is estimated at only RM 8.5 mil (USD 2 mil).

 "There is certainly a huge opportunity here with a very promising future and this is where Malaysia holds some of the keys. As at August this year, there were already 110 Halal-certified pharmaceutical manufacturers in Malaysia including 24 export-ready manufacturers."

 "There are also opportunities to capitalise on Malaysia's diverse natural flora and fauna to develop resource-based bio-generic drugs. Malaysia is one of the world's 12 most bio-diverse countries and offers high potential for sourcing active compounds for healing and wellness products," he said.

On Halal tourism, Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia is the top destination and as a leader, the nation could certainly complement the wider medical tourism sector especially for Muslims worldwide.

Malaysia expects to see overall arrivals of more than 930,000 medical tourists with estimated revenue reaching RM1 billion annually, he said.

/Bernama 28-10-2015


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Ease of Doing Business 2016 Report: Malaysia ranks 18th in the World.



Released recently in late October 2015, the "Doing Business 2016: Measuring Quality and Efficiency" Report finds that East Asia and the Pacific is the second most represented region, after Europe, in the world's top 20 economies.

For the 10th consecutive year, Singapore ranks number one in the world on the World Bank Group's annual ease of doing business measurement. Thailand ranked third place among ASEAN countries on the ease of doing business after Singapore and Malaysia.

Other economies in the Asia Pacific region among the top 20 economies are New Zealand (at No. 2), South Korea (4), Hong Kong (5), Taiwan (11), Australia (13) and Malaysia (18). Malaysia improved from the 20th spot in 2014. 

The report recognised Malaysia with the most business-friendly regulations, and acknowledged the country’s significant improvements in regulatory processes.

Among the 189 global economies, Malaysia is ahead of Switzerland (26th), France (27th), Netherlands (28th), Japan (34th), United Arab Emirates (31st), Thailand (49th), China (84th) and India (130th).

/Bernama 28-10-2015
 

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Malaysia: Budget 2016 - Health Sector



Budget 2016 was announced by the Finance Minister on 23rd October 2015.


RM23.03bil has been allocated for healthcare representing 8.6% of the overall sum.

Other countries whose percentages are similar to ours include the United Arab Emirates (8.7%) and South Africa (9.1%).

On the higher end of the scale, countries like Sweden allocate 13.8% of its budget on healthcare, while Norway and Canada spend 17.9%.

Contrast this with countries such as Pakistan, with 1.3% of its annual expenditure on healthcare, Morocco (4.8%), India (3.4%) and Indonesia (6.2%).

After receiving feedback from various segments of society including NGOs, effective from 1 January 2016, the Government had agreed to forego the GST revenue on several basic necessities .

One of which is the "Zero-rating" of all types of controlled medicines under the Poisons List Group A, B, C and D as well as an addition of 95 brands of over-the-counter medicines.

With this latest development there is a double increase from 4,215 to 8,630 brands of medicines.

The medical fraternity and patients hailed these additions. However they were disappointed that the tax was not removed for all healthcare services.

Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr Ashok Zacha­riah Philip said cancer patients using newer drugs, for instance, could save RM400 to RM600 from zero-rated drugs because it could cost thousands a month.

He said GST imposition should be totally removed from all healthcare services because when imposed, doctors with taxable turnover of more than RM500,000 would add the cost to the overall cost and pass it on to patients.

He also welcomed more hospitals and clinics being built as the growth had been slow the last few years but did not agree to the building of 1Malaysia clinics as the capacity of services was limited.

Five new hospitals to be built in Pasir Gudang, Kemaman, Pendang, Maran and Cyberjaya.

Kajang Hospital to be rebuilt and upgrading of rural and urban health clinics. The RM 848mil Kuala Lumpur Women and Children’s Hospital will commence operations next October.

RM 72mil in medicine assistance, including haemodialysis, for 10,000 patients.

RM 4.6bil for medicines, consumables, vaccines and reagents to all government hospitals and clinics.

RM 52mil to open new 1 Malaysia clinics and to continue 328 others. Ministry statistics have shown that the number of people seeking the services of 1Malaysia clinics increased from 1.32 million in 2010 to 4.42 million in 2013.

RM 260mil for building and enhancing community, health and dental clinics nationwide.

 /theSTAR 24-10-2015

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Top Glove - Annual Report 2015 & Capacity Building



Top Glove Corp Bhd has set aside RM200mil for capital expenditure next year as it ramps up its production capacity to meet strong global demand.

The company is also prepared to spend RM1bil for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) as it aims to acquire at least one M&A per year. “Mergers and acquisitions are a must in order to sustain growth. We must have at least one every year and we have the financial capacity for it seeing as our balance sheet is healthy,” its chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said at a briefing on the group’s results for the year ended Aug 31 (FY15).
 
Top Glove had a good run in FY15 as the weak ringgit and lower raw materials prices boost its profits to a new high.
 
“Currently, we have a global market share of 18%-20% for our nitrile gloves. We are picking up quickly in terms of quality and quantity. In the next three years, we can be top in terms of efficiency and capacity,” executive director Lim Cheong Guan said at the briefing.
 
Presently, the company has 25 factories with 484 production lines and an annual capacity of 44.6 billion pieces, which would be increased to 540 production lines with an annual capacity of 52.4 billion pieces with the expansion of three plants – F27 in Lukut, Port Dickson; F6 in Phuket, Thailand; and brand new plant F30 in Klang.
 
Top Glove is investing RM80mil-90mil on F30 after spending RM70mil on F29, another plant in Klang, which came onstream in February. By February 2017, the company would have 26 glove factories.
 
In FY15, Top Glove increased its market share in North America to 30% from 27% last year, while maintaining its presence in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa with 30%, 18%, 10%, 8% and 4%, respectively.
 
For the fourth quarter ended August 31, Top Glove posted a net profit RM103mil, jumping a whopping 122% from RM46.32mil last year, while revenue increased 22.5% to RM709.44mil.
 
The company had also announced a final dividend of 12 sen per share, boosting its full-year payout to 20 sen per share.
 
The glove maker attributed its record-high financial performance to internal quality and cost efficiency improvements, the strong US dollar as well as weak raw material prices.
 
The company’s full-year net profit rose 55% to RM280.14mil, or 45.36 sen earnings per share (EPS) from RM180.52mil, or 29.09 sen EPS in FY14. Revenue increased by 10.3% to RM2.51bil from RM2.27bil.
 
The turnaround of its China operation, which yielded an after-tax profit of RM4.2mil for FY15 from a loss of RM9.8mil a year earlier, also added to the improvement of group performance.

/theSTAR 21-10-2015


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TMC Life Sciences Bhd - Financial Report 2015



TMC Life Sciences Bhd, which operates the Tropicana Medical Centre and TMC Fertility Centre, quadrupled its net profit for the quarter ended Aug 31, 2015, to RM 2.89mil.

The healthcare group, which this month changed its financial year end to Aug 31 from May 31, told Bursa Malaysia that the figure jumped 397% year-on-year on 29.8% higher revenue of RM30.07mil contributed by higher patient load arising from additional consultants recruited.

“Profitability improved due to higher revenue recorded and interest income earned,” it added.

Net profit for the last financial year ended May 31, 2015, was RM 9.92mil, a 54% increase from the previous year. This was mainly due to higher interest income of RM 2.9mil earned from warrant conversion proceeds and recognition of net deferred tax credit of RM 2mil, partly offset against one-off corporate exercise cost of RM2.5mil.

On its prospects for the current financial year, TMC said the healthcare sector’s growth prospects remained positive, fuelled by changing demographics, a more affluent society and more health-conscious lifestyles in Malaysia. It also noted the growth of medical tourism.

However, the recent foreign exchange rate movements had affected imported supplies of medicines and medical equipment along with the imposition of the goods and services tax and rising manpower costs, had impact on TMC’s operating cost structure.

“Nonetheless, the group continues to expand the breadth and diversity of our services to generate more revenue growth. With the two new wards comprising 51 beds completed on Sept 9, 2015, our hospital (Tropicana Medical Centre) in Kota Damansara now has a capacity of 200 beds,” said the company.
/theSTAR 21-10-2015


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Ringgit: Turn around?



Since my last update on 13th August 2015, the Ringgit had plunged to its worst level against the US dollar on 29th September 2015 (min = 3.5204 (April 29) avg = 3.8866 max = 4.4618 (September 29)).

However, the ringgit had "rebounded" to its biggest one-day gain in 17 years against the US dollar on 6th October 2015. This was due to economic data that was released by the Bank Negara that helped push the battered currency on an upward trajectory against the greenback and other major currencies.

The ringgit leapt 3.7% against the greenback to RM4.216 from RM4.371 after trade data for August showed that the weak ringgit had helped fatten an increasingly squeezed trade surplus that has been eroded by poor commodity prices.

Exports had climbed for the third straight month to 4.1% in August. The ringgit, which is down 34% against the dollar year-to-date and is the worst performer in the region, got a lift when trade data showed that the weak currency had helped exports.
 
Exports rose RM2.64bil to RM66.53bil compared with August 2014. This is the highest monthly export value recorded this year. The expansion in exports was to China, the United States, the European Union, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
 
The impact of the weak currency was conversely shown in imports which fell by 6.1% to M56.34bil.

The total amount of trade for August was RM122.86bil. The difference between exports and imports helped Malaysia’s trade surplus ballooned to RM10.19bil in August from RM2.37bil in July.

Helping the ringgit was also the rise of crude oil prices, where the price of Brent crude oil rose 1% to US$52.44. 
 
Another contributory factor was the announcement of the agreement that Malaysia had agreed to the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), though pending final approval from the Malaysian Parliament. The TPPA is a comprehensive free trade agreement involving Malaysia and 11 other economies, which is expected to boost the economy, trade and investment agenda.
 
It was not just against the US dollar that the ringgit had strengthened. The currency appreciated against the pound sterling and the Singapore dollar. It was at 6.4521 to the pound sterling from 6.6311 the previous day, and at 2.9810 to the Singapore dollar from 3.0208. The ringgit ended stronger against other regional currencies too.
 
The strengthening of the currency also boosted the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index, with the local bourse closing the day up 26.74 points to 1,689.25 on a volume of 2.69 billion shares.
 
There is a lot of money parked in foreign currency accounts in Malaysia. StarBizWeek had pointed out, about a week ago, that foreign currency deposits held by business enterprises had reached RM71.47bil as of July 2015 from RM59.9bil in January this year. Will this currency be reinvested back into the Country?

It is hoped that the Ringgit continues to strengthen against the other currencies due to the strong underlying fundamentals. 
/theSTAR 08-10-2015

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