Sinmah Capital to raise RM500m for healthcare venture

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 18, 2019.
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PETALING JAYA: Former poultry producer, Sinmah Capital Bhd (SMCap), has earmarked RM100 million to build a hospital in Nilai as it makes its maiden venture into the healthcare sector.

The company, via 70%-owned unit Sinmah Amegajaya Healthcare Sdn Bhd (SAH), inked a deal to acquire a piece of property in Nilai for RM27 million, and plans to redevelop it into Malaysia’s first full-service ‘Integrated Public-Private University Hospital’ (IPPUH).

Speaking to reporters after the signing ceremony, SMCap's managing director, Datuk Fong Kok Yong, said construction would be completed in 28 months from March, and that the money would be raised via internally-generated funds and bank borrowings.

The company is also looking at a sukuk issuance of a couple of tranches to raise RM500 million to fund the development of a number of hospitals, Fong said, with the first tranche of RM200 million to be issued this year.

Even so, raising such amounts could prove daunting for SMCap, formerly known as Farm’s Best Bhd, given its soft financial and share price performances.

The loss-making company closed one sen, or 7.14%, lower to 13 sen yesterday, valuing it at RM7.94 million. Over the past year, the counter has lost a massive 66.1% of its worth.

SMCap divested its poultry business in 2017, after which it teamed up with Amegajaya Medical Planning Group (AMP) to set up SAH, the developer of the 200-bed IPPUH in Nilai.

“The Nilai hospital will chart many firsts including offering multi-tier services that meet the needs of different market segments and the setting up of the country’s first integrated Centre of Excellence for Autism & Geriatric Care.

“Our first IPPUH will provide a blueprint for SMCap’s future investments in the healthcare sector,” Fong said.

Universiti Teknologi MARA would be the clinical partner in operating the Nilai IPPUH.

The IPPUH will provide a platform for the government to introduce healthcare insurance which is crucial for the Bottom 40 group, he said, adding that the company is also collaborating with some local insurance companies to help shape efficient healthcare economics.

He expects the hospital to break even in four to five years after it is operational, but said it would also depend on public acceptance.

He also said the company aims to build a minimum of  20 to 25 IPPUHs over the next decade in a number of states including Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, Selangor, Perak and Kedah.

Fong said SMCap is looking to develop a hospital in Cheng, Malacca within the next few months, and establish a nursing school next to the hospital. It has allocated RM200 million in capital expenditure for this development. Although some of the funds would be internally generated, it would also leverage bank borrowings and islamic debt papers.