Friday, November 25, 2005

News - Bird flu a surprise boon for some firms

For Asian drug and sanitary companies, escalating worries over bird flu have been an unexpected boon as demand for their products boom.

Vaccine producers such as CSL (CSL.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) of Australia, cleaning product makers including Kao Corp. (4452.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and home entertainment providers such as Nintendo (7974.OS: Quote, Profile, Research) are likely winners should a human pandemic of the deadly bird flu emerge.

"We would expect pharmaceutical companies, hospital chains and sanitary companies to benefit by fighting the pandemic," said Markus Rosgen, Citigroup head of regional strategy.

Already, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (4519.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and its Swiss partner Roche AG (ROG.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) have seen global demand for their anti-viral drug, Tamiflu, soar. Chugai shares have jumped nearly 70 percent this year.

Reuters Business Channel | Reuters.com

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