BH-BDMS fall on Myanmar’s new foreign currency conversion rules

The share prices of two Thailand’s leading hospital chains, BH and BDMS, ended Monday trading in red territory amid fears over Myanmar’s new foreign reserve rules.


Bumrungrad Hospital Pcl. (SET: BH)’s shares dropped THB10.00/share, or 5.31%, to THB178.50/share, with a trading value of THB1,125 million.

Meanwhile, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Pcl. (SET: BDMS)’s shares fell THB0.50/share, or 1.85%, to THB26.50/share, with a trading value of THB1,556 million.


Analysts at Maybank Securities (Thailand) see the drop in BH and BDMS share value today was due to concerns about impacts of the Central Bank of Myanmar’s new measures to maintain foreign currency reserves. To protect their foreign currency reserves, the government has restricted the import of automobiles and other high-end consumer goods.

The brokerage, however, believes that the risk to healthcare stocks is limited and that any effects will be temporary. They recommend “BUY” with a THB185.00 target price on BH and THB29.00 on BDMS.

To preserve foreign currency reserves, Myanmar’s central bank has ordered borrowers with loans denominated in foreign currency to pause repayment.

Win Thaw, the central bank’s deputy governor on July 13, issued an order requiring domestic borrowers with foreign loans to halt payments on both the principal and interest of those loans. He stated that new repayment terms will need to be negotiated with the international lenders.

Bloomberg estimates that Myanmarese companies have outstanding US$1.2 billion in loans denominated in US dollars.

The central bank also updated currency exchange regulations. State media stated on Monday that companies with up to 35% foreign ownership have been ordered to convert foreign exchange into the local currency, expanding the scope of a regulation meant to ease the kyat’s pressure.