By Ronnie Harui
Shares of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. and other Asia-based pharmaceutical companies tumbled Thursday after the U.S. said it would support a temporary waiver of intellectual property rights of Covid-19 vaccine makers, a move that could allow other companies to produce versions of the vaccines.
The Hong Kong-listed shares of Fosun Pharma, which distributes the vaccines developed by BioNTech SE in the Greater China region, fell as much as 26% in morning trade. Shares were last down 18% at 46.10 Hong Kong dollars, on pace for their biggest one-day drop since the company's initial public offering in 2012.
Shares of other Hong Kong-listed Covid-19 vaccine makers also slumped, with CanSino Biologics Inc. falling 21% to HK$289.00 and Sinopharm Group Co. dropping 10% to HK$23.15. In China, Fosun Pharma's A-shares were down 10% at 54.22 yuan.
The plunges tracked declines in the Chinese companies' American counterparts after the U.S. said it would support a proposal working its way through the World Trade Organization. Such a policy would waive the IP rights of vaccine makers to potentially enable companies in developing countries and others to manufacture their own versions of Covid-19 vaccines. The U.S. cited an urgent need to stem the pandemic.
Fosun Pharma's decline also follows a 20% jump in the share price Monday after the company posted a 47% rise in first-quarter net profit, largely because of higher drug sales and a low base of comparison due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic a year ago. Shares touched a record intraday high of HK$62.50 Tuesday and are up 24% this year and 62% over the past 12 months.
Write to Ronnie Harui at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires