Malaysia's IHH Healthcare says to add another 3,000 beds by 2017

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 15): Malaysia's IHH Healthcare Bhd, Asia's largest hospital operator by market value, aims to add 3,000 beds to its existing 7,000 beds by 2017 through new hospitals and expansion of current ones, CEO Tan See Leng said on Monday.

IHH, which counts Malaysia's state investor Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Japan's Mitsui & Co as its major shareholders, is also looking for mergers and acquisitions to grow, Tan told reporters after the company's annual general meeting. It currently has 39 hospitals in 10 countries.

"We are constantly on the lookout (for mergers and acquisitions)," Tan said.

IHH, with a market value of about $13 billion, recently bought a 51 percent stake in India's Continental Hospitals for 166.73 million ringgit and Tan expects the 750-bed hospital will contribute financially this quarter.

Shares of IHH ended 0.17 percent lower at the midday break. The counter has gained about 22 percent this year, the best performer in Malaysia's benchmark stock index.