Health actions in mind

Investors monitor stock prices at a brokerage. Pornprom Satrabhaya

Investing in stocks and assets with high pricing power and long-term growth potential has traditionally been a good way to make gains and stay ahead in an inflationary environment.

To weather the current inflationary headwinds, analysts recommend investing in healthcare and high-dividend stocks with returns above 5% in the past 12 months, as these are sectors with growth prospects. high and strong performance in a rising inflation environment.

The pandemic has led to increased health awareness and spurred the growth of medical innovations.


HEALTH-CONSCIOUS

Siriporn Suwannagarn, Senior Managing Director and Head of Financial Advisory at Kasikornbank (KBank), said the pandemic has led to increased health awareness and spurred the growth of medical innovations as people see them as key to a healthier and longer life.

Funds concentrated in healthcare stocks can help diversify portfolios across subdivisions of the sector, she said.

KBank Private Banking recommends K-GHEALTH, which is a fund focused on medical and healthcare stocks in four main groups: pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical technology and healthcare services.

The bank said the fund supports the long-term growth of medical innovations by investing in pharmaceutical companies that are developing cutting-edge products such as precision medicine and insulin pills.

The fund also focuses on companies with drugs or medical technologies that can effectively diagnose and treat diseases such as cancer and heart disease at the genetic level, such as a drug that prevents heart failure by penetrating and strengthening cardiac muscles, using surgical robots and artificial devices. intelligence (AI) that helps doctors process scanned medical data for diagnosis.

In addition, K-GHEALTH invests in health services aimed at improving patient access to affordable care, such as insurance schemes with an extensive network of companies that facilitate patient access to treatment.

As a fund with investments in many sectors, KBank Private Banking said the K-GHEALTH fund is a good investment opportunity that should benefit from increased health concerns in the long term and will continue to operate even in an environment of intense market volatility and high inflation.

Ms Siriporn says investing in healthcare stocks will remain attractive and offers the possibility of long-term returns.

Ms Siriporn said healthcare had many subdivisions and stocks with good fundamentals and lagging prices, allowing for high growth potential.

She said investing in healthcare stocks would remain attractive and provide investors with an opportunity to earn long-term returns.

TECHNOLOGY TRENDS

Dr Manop Pitakpakorn, head of the Research Center for Excellence in Precision Medicine at Siriraj Hospital Faculty of Medicine, said the pandemic has accelerated advances in medical technology and dramatically improved the efficiency of entire healthcare supply chain, as it has driven companies in the healthcare sector. industry to compete in developing technologies to fight the virus.

The pandemic has also been a catalyst for mass digitization and technology adoption across sectors, including healthcare, he said.

People increasingly recognize the importance of medical technology and see it as a key tool for the development and sustainability of wellbeing, Dr. Manop said.

He said medical innovations that will become future trends include telemedicine, AI, machine learning and big data, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). , medical automation and robotics, 3D bioprinting, gene editing with CRISPR technology, predictive and preventive medicine and precision medicine.

Dr Manop said telemedicine has been increasingly adopted by healthcare personnel during the pandemic to deliver services remotely.

Medical data can be transmitted from devices such as smart watches that provide doctors with patient data for diagnosis and treatment.

In 2020, the market value of the telemedicine industry stood at US$7.9 billion or approximately 27 trillion baht and is expected to reach US$3.96 trillion or 135 trillion baht in 2027.

He said as medical data becomes increasingly digitized, doctors can use AI to help screen, diagnose and make better treatment decisions.

For example, AI can be used to diagnose patients with coronary heart disease and cerebral vasoconstriction, as it shortens diagnostic time from 15-30 minutes to just 3 minutes, Dr. Manop said.

Dr. Manop says advances in medical technology will snowball in the future.

More doctors and healthcare personnel should use IoT, AR and VR devices, wearables and sensors to treat and care for patients and perform treatment on the spot without having to be physically on site, he said. declared.

Examples include arm-mounted blood glucose monitoring sensors that measure wearers’ blood sugar around the clock, or medication-mounted sensors that let doctors and nurses know if their patients are taking their medications on time.

In addition to these devices, doctors will use more robots to perform surgeries on small and delicate organs such as hands, ears, eyes or brain to reduce human error and speed up operations, a said Dr. Manop.

3D bioprinting and 3D printing technology will also play an important role in treatment as it can be applied to organ transplants. The market value of this segment is expected to reach $1.8 billion, or about 62 billion baht, in 2027, he said.

Gene editing with CRISPR technology is another innovative medical option that helps correct abnormalities in patients, such as high blood cholesterol levels due to genetic abnormalities that lack drug treatment.

In addition to treatment, predictive and preventative medicine from genetic transcription is also becoming much faster and cheaper, making it likely to seep into all areas of health in the near future, said the Dr. Manop.

Gene transcription can help doctors predict the likelihood of illnesses for each newborn and formulate a plan to prevent those illnesses, which will help reduce long-term health care costs, he said.

Genomic and precision medicine is another medical technology that uses genetic transcription to identify sources of abnormalities.

Dr. Manop said that all of these technologies help doctors achieve the best treatment results and will see massive adoption in the future.

Thomas Bradley-Flannagan, investment specialist at JP Morgan Asset Management International Equity Group, said healthcare stocks continue to generate good returns for investors, even in times of high inflation.

below A doctor examines a chest X-ray. Doctors can use AI to help screen, diagnose, and make better treatment decisions.

However, he said not all healthcare segments were performing well. Bradley-Flannagan recommends overweighting investments in biotech stocks whose stock prices have fallen, as well as focusing on companies with exceptional opportunities for innovation, performance and long-term growth.

He said that for healthcare providers, investors should focus more on health insurance than hospitals, while maintaining weight in pharmaceutical stocks as they are relatively stable and do not fluctuate depending on the situation. economic.

Medical technology stocks will be relatively more volatile as they are mostly startups that are overvalued due to the surge in investment, Bradley-Flannagan said.

STABLE DIVIDENDS

Dividend-paying stocks in inflation-resistant sectors such as energy are another good choice to offset the negative impact of rising consumer prices.

Analysis by Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) suggests choosing stocks that offer dividend yields above inflation levels and offer higher yields than deposit accounts or government bonds, i.e. say 5% or more.

The SCB also urges investors to focus on stocks with a healthy and consistent dividend payout history and a strong financial position with positive cash flow, as well as good trading liquidity.

The bank said dividend yield levels reflect the company’s ability to generate profits and pay dividends.

Additionally, investors should look at companies’ return on equity (ROE) records to find the ones with the best performance.

ROE is a measure of profitability calculated by dividing net profit by equity. High numbers reflect a company’s ability to make profits and suggest it can pay good dividends in the future.

Property and real estate are other assets that offer returns above inflation because they generally do not fluctuate with stock market volatility.

SCB recommends investing in real estate investment trusts with consistently high returns to reduce risk.

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