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1 Stock With Exposure To The Zika Virus

I guess most of you should be aware by now that Singapore is ‘under siege’ by the Zika virus, which is primarily spread through bites by an infected Aedes species mosquito.

According to the Ministry of Health, Zika “is generally a mild disease and many people infected with the Zika virus do not even develop symptoms.” But, it can cause a serious condition called microcephaly in the unborn fetuses of pregnant women (microcephaly is the abnormal smallness of an infant’s head).

As of Saturday night, there are 215 Zika cases in Singapore, according to the Straits Times. This is a big increase from the 41 Zika cases that was seen on 29 August 2016.

Many people in Singapore have started buying up various types of mosquito-repellant products and there is one company here that is producing such products.

One company exposed to the Zika virus

When news of Singapore’s Zika situation started appearing, I heard anecdotes of how mosquito repellants were being cleaned off the shelves in pharmaceutical stores such as Watsons and Guardians. Not convinced of what was happening, I went online to Guardian’s online store and tried to find mosquito repellants.

Turns out, lots of repellants were out of stock. Here’s a sample of what I saw:

Tiger Balm Guardian Store
Source: Guardian

Some of you may have noticed the Tiger Balm-branded mosquito repellants in the image above. These products are actually manufactured by Haw Par Corporation Ltd (SGX: H02) under its healthcare segment.

In 2015, 85% of Haw Par’s total revenue came from its Healthcare segment, which in turn, mostly consists of sales of various types of Tiger Balm products. From this, you can see how Haw Par is exposed to the Zika virus.

But, investors should also be aware that this sudden craze for mosquito repellent products may be short-lived in nature.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that Haw Par does not specifically breakdown the sales that comes from each product line (there are many types of Tiger Balm products beyond mosquito repellants), so any Zika-euphoria for the company’s mosquito repellant products may not even move the needle much, if at all.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor James Yeo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.