Wednesday, January 19

Thumbs up to Pharmaniaga’s loan for boosters

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Pharmaniaga is prepared to supply the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine as a booster dose to the state government and private sector, upon receiving the Drug Control Authority’s approval. – Bernama photo

KUCHING (November 29): Pharmaniaga Bhd (Pharmaniaga) and Selgate Corp Sdn Bhd’s (SC) healthcare arm Selgate Healthcare Sdn Bhd (SH) have secured financing totalling RM360 million from Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (BIMB) for the procurement, production and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in support of the Nation Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP).

In a move to assist its customers, BIMB approved financial loans with flexible terms and conditions to the Covid-19-related supply chain. Currently, the bank’s expo sure to the healthcare industry is over RM250 million, and will continue to support any financial needs in combatting the pandemic.

“Despite the fact that Malaysia’s economy is likely to improve as more economic activities are permitted — particularly with the resumption of interstate and international travel — the threat of Covid-19 infection remains a serious concern, with thousands of positive cases in the country.

“With the introduction of booster doses to further control the virus’s spread, BIMB is devoted to support Pharmaniaga and SC in their vaccine delivery,” observed the team at MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd (MIDF Research).

“Pharmaniaga is prepared to supply the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine as a booster dose to the state government and private sector, upon receiving the Drug Control Authority’s approval.

“The group expects a hike in demand from various sectors for booster shots to aid the economic growth in the near future.”

MIDF Research noted that the financial aid from BIMB came at a convenient time, especially during the current crisis where liquidity remains on the table.

Following the success of completed vaccinations of up to 90 per cent of the population, Pharmaniaga is gearing up to provide the booster dose for any individual above the age of 18, as well as bulk purchases from private clinics and hospitals.

“We opine that the additional loans to manufacture and distribute Sinovac vaccines booster shots has been factored in for the current quarter, and will not have an extreme effect on the group’s earnings for the year,” it estimated.

“At most, the benefit from the vaccine sales would be clearer after the booster shots are being successfully distributed to the populace. Hence, we make no changes to the earnings estimates.”

Pharmaniaga has been actively pushing the manufacturing of its fill-finish vaccines as the third dose. In addition to providing booster shots for NCIP, the group is also hastening the fight against any sudden resurgence of infection from the new variant Omicron, and reduce hospitalisation and death rates, by actively manufacturing and distributing its vaccines.

“We believe with this secured financial help, the group’s fill-finish vaccine business will indirectly improve the local economy in the long run. Pharmaniaga’s long-term prospects are bright, thanks to the company’s other strategies for increasing access to its drugs and expanding its resources and skills.”

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