Healthcare Stocks Expected to Rise in 2022, with International Patients as the Key Drivers

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said on Thursday that foreign tourists arriving in Thailand whether via Test & Go, Sandbox or quarantine programs will no longer be required to undergo pre-travel COVID-19 testing from April 1.

Also, the public health office reclassified the color-coded area system, decreasing the number of provinces labeled as orange zones from 44 to 20, while increasing the number of provinces identified as high-surveillance yellow zones from 25 to 47.

KGI Securities maintains a Neutral rating on the healthcare sector due to its expectation that big hospitals will benefit from the potential return of international patients in 2022, as well as the government’s support for the tourism industry with fewer restrictions (i.e. hotel reservations on day 5 are no longer required, medical insurance with a minimum coverage of US$20,000 is required, and the second test is conducted using ATK self-test provided by the hotel).

Despite the continued COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand, KGI still expects the negative effects from the outbreak to ease YoY as hospitals can use capacity for medical treatment of non-COVID segments with high intensity following delayed treatments.

Bangkok Chain Hospital Plc. (SET: BCH) is the top pick with a 2022 DCF target price of THB28.00. The key drivers would be i) expected earnings growth from non-COVID segment in 2022 and ii) solid business from both domestic and international patients.