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Saturday, November 28, 2009

RM100m hospital for Ara Damansara

The new hospital, part of Sime Darby's vision in becoming a formidable healthcare player in Malaysia, is expected to be completed by 2012

Malaysia's largest conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd will build a new RM100 million hospital at its residential development in Ara Damansara, Selangor, bringing the group's total number of hospitals in the country to four.

The new hospital is expected to be completed by 2012.

An industry source said the new hospital is part of Sime Darby's vision in becoming a formidable healthcare player in the country and the region.

"The new hospital in Ara Damansara will be known as the Sime Darby Medical Centre Ara Damansara. Sime Darby is intensifying efforts to bolster its healthcare business division, where the segment is very competitive but recession-proof, enabling the group to earn an income even during economic hard times," the source said.
Analysts see the new hospital as part of Sime Darby's long-term plan to grow its healthcare business, which together with general trading and other business account for about 10 per cent of the group's revenue.

Sime Darby currently operates two hospitals and a nursing college in Selangor. They include the 393-bed Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya (formerly Subang Jaya Medical Centre) and the Sime Darby Specialist Centre Megah, which is a day-surgery and outpatient specialist centre, in Petaling Jaya.

It also owns and operates the Sime Darby Nursing and Health Sciences College in Shah Alam, which is managed by its healthcare arm Sime Darby Healthcare Sdn Bhd.

The group is also in the midst of building the 350-bed Sime Darby Medical Desa Park City in Desa Park City, near Bukit Menjalara, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur which is scheduled to be completed in 2012 at a cost of RM350 million.

In its filing to Bursa Malaysia on October 26, Sime Darby had announced the setting up of Sime Darby Medical Centre Ara Damansara Sdn Bhd which at present is a dormant company.

It bought two ordinary shares of RM1 each in Sime Darby Medical Centre Ara Damansara, which represents the latter's total paid-up capital.

Sime Darby had said Sime Darby Medical Centre Ara Damansara will be involved in healthcare facility services management and other healthcare-related services.

On Wednesday, during the announcement of the group's first-quarter results ended September 2009, Sime Darby president dan group chief executive Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid had said that healthcare business is now one of the conglomerate's core businesses.

Its other businesses are plantations, automotive, heavy equipment, property, energy and utility, spanning over 20 countries.

"The healthcare business is growing rapidly and we will continue to bolster this sector. We expect to own two new hospitals in the next two years," Ahmad Zubir had said.

Apart from Malaysia, the healthcare business division managed by its healthcare arm Sime Darby Healthcare also aims to expand its operations overseas, especially in Asia, over the next three years.

It now has a presence in Indonesia, Vietnam, the UK and the US.

By Business Times (by Zaidi Isham Ismail)

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