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Raffles Medical's chairman Loo and daughter, directors and Canadian fund raise their stakes

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 4 min read
Raffles Medical's chairman Loo and daughter, directors and Canadian fund raise their stakes
For the last few years, Raffles Medical has given a lot of attention to its expansion into China and is likely to continue to do so.
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SINGAPORE (Apr 3): Over the past few months, several insiders bought shares in hospital operator Raffles Medical Group following the company’s full year earnings announcement. They were founder and executive chairman Dr Loo Choon Yong; his daughter Dr Sarah Lu Qinghui as well as two other directors and an institutional investor.

On March 23, Loo bought 750,000 shares at 74.5 cents each. On March 13, he bought 106,300 shares at 83.98 cents each; 876,500 at 83.94 cents each on March 16; 997,600 shares at 83.28 cents each on March 17; 1.05 million shares at 82.51 cents each on March 18; 1 million shares at 79.67 cents on March 19 and 551,700 shares at 78.8 cents on March 20.

With the March 23 purchase, Loo now holds a total stake of nearly 950.4 million, or 51.988%.

On March 23, Lu, who is also a non-independent director of the company, bought 50,000 shares at 73.5 cents each. The shares were bought via an entity called S&D Holdings, which is held by her and husband, Dr Anthony Foo Tun Lin. They now hold just over 59.7 million shares, or 3.268% of the company.

On March 17, non-independent director Olivier Lim bought 120,000 shares at an average price of 83.7 cents, doubling his stake to 240,000 shares, or 0.013%. On March 20, lead independent director Koh Poh Tiong bought 100,000 shares at an average of 80.5 cents. With that, he now holds 616,071 shares, or 0.034%.

Besides the insiders, an external fund manager also increased stake in Raffles Medical.

On March 26, Global Alpha Capital Management, from Canada, bought just over 4.74 million shares. The fund paid an average of 80.4 cents each. With that, the fund manager now owns 5.255%, up from 4.996%.

On Feb 24, Raffles Medical reported revenue of $522 million for the FY2019 ended Dec 31 2019, up 6.7% compared to FY2018. However earnings fell 15.2% y-o-y to $60.3 million due to higher start-up costs at its new hospitals in China’s Chongqing and Shanghai. Even with the earnings decline, the company has declared a final dividend of two cents per share, which will bring the full-year dividend to 2.5 cents, which is the same amount as in FY2018.

The Chongqing hospital started operations last year. It has received a status as a one of the designated hospitals covered by China’s social health insurance scheme. Under this scheme, local patients will be able to claim medical expenditures incurred at the hospital. Besides the Chongqing hospital, Raffles Medical is on track for the opening Raffles Hospital Shanghai as well. However, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the actual opening date cannot be confirmed yet and will depend on when Shanghai resumes normalcy, the company says.

For the last few years, Raffles Medical has given a lot of attention to its expansion into China and is likely to remain so. On March 2, as part of the process to refresh its management, Raffles Medical appointed two deputy managing directors to its Raffles China healthcare division.

The first is Dr Vincent Chia. He was previously the founder and medical director of Asian Healthcare Solutions. Dr Chia was also the CEO of Gleneagles Hospital Singapore, CEO of Parkway East Hospital, vice-president of business development at Parkway Shenton, and general manager of primary care at Healthway Medical Group.

The second is Goh Ann Nee, who was previously Raffles Medical’s CFO. Goh is replaced by Sheila Ng, who held various CFO positions at other companies.

In addition, Raffles Medical also named Dr Yang Ching Yu as medical director of Raffles China healthcare division. Yang, a 25-year veteran with Raffles Medical, was the medical director of Raffles Hospital Singapore, Raffles Medical’s flagship facility. Since 2019, he has worn another hat as the medical director for Raffles Hospital Chongqing since its opening in January that year.

On the same day, the company also appointed two new non-executive independent directors. They are Ng Chee Peng, senior advisor to the Ministry of Manpower and the CPF Board, and Tham Khai Wor, founder and principal consultant of Saltus Consulting, who was the former senior executive vice-president for marketing at Singapore Press Holdings.

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