STOCKS NEWS MALAYSIA-Kenanga starts IHH with 'market perform'

Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:22pm EST

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Kenanga Research started IHH Healthcare Bhd, Asia's largest hospital operator, with a "market perform" call and a target price of 3.51 ringgit per share, citing stable growth in the global healthcare industry.

The group offers investors exposure to a network of "healthcare jewels" across Malaysia, Singapore and Turkey, the research house said in a note on Thursday.

"Despite the scarcity premium that we have attached to IHH units given its sheer size, commanding market position and superior growth potential, IHH is currently trading close to our target price," Kenanga said.

IHH's capital expenditure needs are expected to range between 600 million ringgit and 800 million ringgit per annum in 2013 and 2014, Kenanga added. IHH's growth-driven plans include delivering 3,300 new beds by expanding its existing facilities and two potential projects in Turkey.

The research house forecast a net profit growth of 60 percent in the financial year 2013 and 19 percent in 2014, driven by its planned pipeline of hospitals expansion, higher medical fees and a rising volume of patients.

IHH shares inched down 0.9 percent against the Malaysian benchmark stock index that was down 0.5 percent.

1009 (0209 GMT)

(Reporting by Anuradha Raghu; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee; anuradha.raghu@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: anuradha.raghu.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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