STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Nomura starts Healthcare sector with bullish view

Wed Jan 9, 2013 11:13pm EST

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Nomura Securities initiated coverage of Thailand's healthcare sector with a 'bullish' view, citing continued earnings growth driven by higher foreign patients and demand from a rising Thai middle class.

"We expect foreign patient revenues to keep growing, driven by higher revenue per patient and admission as Thailand moves into higher acuity treatments... Thailand remains an attractive destination with a pricing discount of 20-30 percent to Singapore," it said.

Mergers and acquisitions of the Thai healthcare industry would likely continue to be a driver of growth and share prices, it said in a report dated Wednesday.

It rated Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Pcl 'buy', with a target price of 134.5 baht and rated Bumrungrad Hospital Pcl 'neutral', with a target price of 80.5 baht.

"We believe that BGH, the market leader, will be a key beneficiary of both domestic and foreign patient revenue growth through its wide cross-nation hospital network and multiple hospital brands across both the mid- and high-end segments. This contrasts with BH which focuses only on the high-end segment in Bangkok," the broker said.

The healthcare subindex was down 0.38 percent, with Bangkok Dusit shares unchanged at 114.5 baht and Bumrungrad shares down 0.3 percent. The broader SET index was up 0.08 percent.

1104 (0404 GMT) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok; Editing by Anand Basu)

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