IHH Healthcare Eyes Indonesia For Expansion

IHH Healthcare Bhd (IHH) sees Indonesia as remaining an attractive market for the healthcare company’s expansion plans.

IHH Group’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Prem Kumar Nair said that one of the factors that prevented foreign healthcare companies from expanding into Indonesia before was in terms of the availability of doctors, due to medical registration in the republic which prevented the entry of doctors from outside.

“Under the new administration and Minister of Health, Indonesia is seen to be liberalizing the recruitment of doctors by opening medical registration for foreign doctors. This also attracts the presence of doctors not only from foreign countries such as Australia, but doctors from the country itself will also receive training abroad,” he said on the sidelines of the 14th IHH Annual General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur today.

Prem said that one of the factors of the local company, KPJ Healthcare Bhd, exited the Indonesian market earlier due to the regulations imposed on foreign operators, adding, the company is also looking to enter the Indonesian and Vietnamese markets but no specific decision has been made at this time.

“This is because many of our hospital customers in this country (Malaysia) and also in Singapore are from the respective markets (Indonesia and Vietnam),” he said.

He said, IHH also plans to add nearly 4,000 new beds across its main markets within five years including through mergers and acquisitions.” The company also wants to expand services and offerings across the healthcare continuum, where we can continue to grow the laboratory business as a new growth engine.

“We will also explore and evaluate value-added assets as well as improve underperforming assets to reach the company’s full potential,” he said.

Meanwhile, Prem Kumar said, the company will look for a suitable candidate to fill the vacant position of Chairman Tan Sri Mohammed Azlan Hashim.

“We will try to fill it as soon as possible, but there is a process to go through,” he added at the AGM for the year ended 31 December 2023 which saw “live” voting allowing shareholders and their proxies to cast their votes in real-time for each resolution presented. With Chairman Tan Sri Mohammed Azlan Hashim and Independent Director Ong Ai Lin deciding earlier not to seek re-election as they retired today from the IHH Board of Directors.

Strong operational and financial performance

On its outperformance in FY2023, IHH paid out a higher total ordinary dividend of 9 sen per share (up from 7 sen in FY2022); the final cash dividend of 5.5 sen was paid out on 26 April 2024.

It was also decided that 100% of the gains from the sale of IMU be paid out as a special dividend, making the grand total for dividends paid out in FY2023 to 18.6 sen per share. The group’s dividend policy has been enhanced to no less than 30% of the Group’s post-tax profit and minority interests, excluding extraordinary items (“PATMI ex EI”) for the year – up from 20% previously.

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