Friday, July 19, 2013

KPJ Healthcare prepares for aged care business in Malaysia

BorneoPost Online
KUCHING: KPJ Healthcare Bhd (KPJ Healthcare) has been proactively preparing for the aged care business in Malaysia, following the success of its 51 per cent stake acquisition of Australian-based Jeta Gardens – an Asian-themed retirement resort that houses an aged care facility, retirement homes and apartments – in 2010.
According to AmResearch Sdn Bhd (AmResearch) in a research note on the group, KPJ Healthcare could potentially collaborate with a property developer to launch the retirement villages, given that building such greenfield facilities is beyond its expertise.
In addition, the group is also looking at building facilities which consist of various types of properties such as apartment units and villas.
While studies are ongoing for the development of KPJ Healthcare’s Malaysia retirement village, the facility would cater to both those who are highly dependent on medical personnel, and retirees that are independent and relatively healthy.
“From our point of view, although earnings contribution from its aged care business is still relatively small, the venture into retirement villages in Malaysia could turn into a long-term revenue generator, especially since the country’s aged care industry lacks proper attention from qualified nurses and doctors.
“More importantly, present baby boomers are approaching retirement age and it might be the right time ripe to cash in on this segment,” AmResearch opined.
Underpinned by the group’s first mover advantage in the aged care business and supported by its ‘know-how’ attained at Jeta Gardens, a planned Step Down Services centre at the old Tawakkal Building is expected to be completed in the financial year 2014 forecast (FY14F), subject to approval from the health ministry.
Meanwhile, a replica of Jeta Gardens in Bandar Dato’ Onn, is earmarked to be opened in FY16F.
“ Our bullish conviction on KPJ Healthcare remains, thanks to its strong domestic foothold riding on the lucrative and booming local private healthcare sector and its defensive earnings profile.
“Growth prospects remain favourable with bed capacities expected to grow by 65 per cent over the next three years, driven by eight greenfield projects, four expansions and two acquisitions,” the research arm added.
As such, AmResearch reaffirmed its ‘buy’ recommendation on KPJ Healthcare Bhd, with an unchanged fair value of RM8.00 per share, based on its discounted cash flow valuation.

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