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Glove makers among most active on Bursa after monkeypox declared a global health emergency

KUALA LUMPUR (July 25): Glove makers were among Bursa Malaysia’s most active counters on Monday (July 25) morning, as investors reacted to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s declaration of monkeypox as a global health emergency recently.

Top Glove Corp Bhd, topped the actives list earlier in the day, with Supermax Corp Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd and their smaller peer Careplus Group Bhd in the top 15.

But it appeared that investors took cue later from Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin's announcement that all nine cases of suspected monkeypox that the ministry was notified about as of July 23 had turned out negative for the illness.

On market close, Top Glove settled as the third most actively traded stock of the day after 72.30 million shares were traded, pared its earlier gain — it rose as much as 4.5 sen to RM1.04 — to close unchanged at 99.5 sen, which gave the world’s largest glove maker a market value of RM7.97 billion.

Interests in the other glove counters likewise waned, with Supermax dropping to the 24th most active spot, while Careplus fell to 28th place; Hartalega was the 55th most traded.

Supermax, which rose as high as 86 sen, settled at 83.5 sen — only half a sen higher from its previous close — after 15.37 million shares exchanged hands, for a market capitalisation of RM2.22 billion.

Careplus, which climbed three sen earlier, pared two-thirds of that to settle at 43 sen with 13.97 million shares done, for a market cap of RM246.4 million. Hartalega gained as much as 14 sen but closed with a three sen gain at RM2.80, after 7.17 million shares were exchanged, for a market value of RM9.57 billion.

In a brief note to traders on Monday, Hong Leong Investment Bank analyst Ng Jun Sheng, who maintained "underweight" on gloves, said aggressive expansion during the pandemic has tipped the rubber glove sector into an oversupply state, which will continue to weigh down glove makers.

On Saturday, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak represents a global health emergency, WHO's highest level of alert.

He said the risk of monkeypox — which spreads via close contact and tends to cause flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions — was moderate globally, except in Europe, where WHO has deemed the risk as high.

"Although I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern, for the moment, this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners," said Tedros.

Meanwhile, Khairy has reminded all health facilities to be aware of the ongoing monkeypox situation, as well as an increase in case detection among at-risk patients, following WHO's Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) announcement about the disease.

Khairy also announced that all non-citizen travellers must complete the traveller’s card in MySejahtera and that travellers who arrive from countries reporting monkeypox will receive pop-up health messages every day through MySejahtera that will remind them to monitor the symptoms of monkeypox infection and their health status.

He said such travellers arriving from the countries involved are advised to monitor their self-health status every day, including symptoms of monkeypox infection for a period of 21 days from the date of arrival in Malaysia.

The symptoms of monkeypox are fever, fatigue, headache, maculopapular rash that starts on the face then spreads to the palms and soles, followed by other body parts, weak limbs, back pain or joint pain, muscle cramps and swollen lymph nodes.

“From May 1, 2022 until July 23, 2022, a total of 531,630 travellers were recorded [having arrived] from countries reporting cases of monkeypox, and the MySejahtera application had issued a Monkeypox Health Alert to these travellers.

“The Ministry of Health calls on individuals who have symptoms of monkeypox to immediately go to a health facility for further examination and treatment. Avoid contact with other people to avoid the spread of infection,” he said in a statement.


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