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Reforms make pharma stocks funds’ hot picks

Cai Xiao
Updated: Jul 10,2017 7:15 AM     China Daily

State-owned financial institutions and private fund managers are investing in pharmaceutical shares, which are seen benefiting from a series of reforms.

Both State-owned funds and private ones owned 12 common A-share stocks, out of which four were of pharmaceutical companies.

Each fund has assets worth more than 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) under management. And each has allocated substantial funds to the pharma sector from September to March, according to investment consultant platform Qiantougu.

The stocks included Yunnan Baiyao Group Co Ltd, Zhejiang NHU Co Ltd, Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd and China Yangtze Power Co Ltd.

“China’s latest reforms in pharmaceuticals are shaping the industry and investors pay attention to related A-share listed companies with good performance,” said Zhang Jinyang, an analyst at Dongxing Securities.

One of the reforms was by the National Health and Family Planning Commission that said in January that all public hospitals will stop adding their cost to drug prices and start selling them to patients at cost price this year.

This is expected to boost sales of drugs, and profits of the companies concerned, as more patients may be able to afford the medicines.

In May, the China Food and Drug Administration unveiled four draft regulations to encourage innovation and research in the pharmaceutical industry, which is expected to modernize the industry, making it world-class and improving its future prospects.

In March, the CFDA released a draft regulation giving new foreign drugs easier access to the Chinese market at the same time as they enter other markets. Competition from world-class drugs is expected to raise standards of local companies.

“State-owned financial institutions bought shares with good quality and low risk in the first quarter, and private asset management companies made the move earlier,” said Zhang Xuan, chief investment consultant at Qiantougu.

Eight of the 12 common stocks held by State-owned and private institutions have risen this year. For instance, shares in Yunnan Baiyao Group Co Ltd and Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd rose about 20 percent each from early January to June 16.

State-owned financial institutions bought six A-share stocks in the fourth quarter last year, followed by large private fund management companies, data of Qiantougu showed.

In the first quarter of this year, State-owned financial institutions led by Central Huijin Investment Ltd and China Securities Finance Co Ltd purchased 73 A-share stocks. More than 40 percent of them were listed on the small and medium-sized enterprise board and the ChiNext board.

The State-owned investors cashed out from 52 shares during the same period and almost 60 percent of them were listed on the SME and ChiNext boards.