Bursa Health Care index falls the most as glove shares drop to lowest in over a year

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 9): Bursa Malaysia's Health Care index closed down the most in percentage terms today compared to other indices partly due to rubber glove manufacturers' share prices dropping to the lowest in over a year on a weaker profit outlook against global Covid-19 vaccination progress.

At 5pm, Top Glove Corp Bhd's share price ended down 18 sen or 5.03% at RM3.40 while Hartalega Holdings Bhd dropped 26 sen or 3.89% to RM6.42. Supermax Corp Bhd declined 13 sen or 4.41% to RM2.82 while Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd fell nine sen or 3.03% to RM2.88.

The Health Care index, which also tracks share prices of hospital operators and pharmaceutical companies, closed down 60.13 points or 2.19% at 2,687.08.

Top Glove's closing share price of RM3.40 today is the lowest in more than a year probably since May 8, 2020, when the stock's price ended at RM2.44.

Hartalega's share price of RM6.42 today is the lowest since March 13, 2020, when the stock's price ended at RM6.06.

Supermax's share price at RM2.82 today is the lowest since May 22, 2020, when the stock's price closed at RM2.74.

Kossan's share price at RM2.88 today is the lowest since April 30, 2020, when the stock's price finished at RM2.80.

Top Glove and Hartalega are constituents of the 30-stock FBM KLCI, which closed down 18.74 points or 1.17% at 1,578.89 today.

The Covid-19 pandemic, which began in early 2020, has dragged rubber glove manufacturers into the spotlight in anticipation that the pandemic will generate higher demand for gloves, which are deemed crucial personal protective equipment to curb the spread of the pandemic.

The progress in global Covid-19 vaccination has however been a game changer, whereby demand for gloves is expected to drop and normalise on expectation that the pandemic will be curbed.

Such sentiment has led to a weaker profit outlook for glove manufacturers in Malaysia as average selling prices (ASPs) of the products decline and as glove manufacturers in Malaysia face competition rivals in China, according to analysts and fund managers.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president Thong Pak Leng said glove counters have been under selling pressure for some time, as investors are expecting the reopening of the economy due to Malaysia's Covid-19 vaccination progress.

"Investors have more investment choices to go through as the country's economy reopens," Thong told theedgemarkets.com today.

However, as the valuation for glove counters is already low, he said Rakuten does not expect the drastic selling trend for such stocks to continue.

Another fund manager said glove makers in Malaysia are facing rising competition from China-based rivals and the pressure of declining ASPs for gloves.

"Top Glove should be releasing results soon and the declining (ASP) trend should further reinforce what the market has been saying all along," he told theedgemarkets.com today.


Sumber : The Edge Markets