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Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange
Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar), established in 1980, is the second largest public shareholding company in the pharmaceutical sector within the GCC region.
The Julphar group had sales of AED443mn (US$120mn) in ’03 and net profit of AED56.5mn (US$15.3mn), which were 18.8% and 31.3% respectively higher than theprevious year.
Most of Julphar’s revenues come from selling of ‘out of patent’ pharmaceutical formulations in different parts of the world. The parent company, Julphar UAE had80% of its sales in GCC countries, with more than half of it in Saudi Arabia. A few government bodies hold stakes in Julphar, giving it an advantage in the markets Julphar group owns seven pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, including one each in Germany and Ecuador and a biotechnology plant in the UAE. The company sells adiversified portfolio of products, covering most of the therapeutic segments. The company also does under-license manufacturing for foreign companies and plans During the three year period ’01-’03, Julphar witnessed a CAGR of 16% in revenues.
It is expected to continue its high growth, owing to the nature of its markets and globalgrowth trends for the sector. The company had an operating profit margin of 13.4% in ’03, much lower than the industry norm. This was mainly due to the high cost imports of bulk drugs fromEurope. Return on invested capital (ROIC) stood at 8.1%, lower than the estimatedcost of capital of 9.47%. An increase in the share of revenues from under license manufacturing, and shifting the source of bulk drug imports to cost-effective sources are expected to improve thecompany’s profitability. However, this could be offset to some extent by potentialprice decline due to intensifying competition. Global Research - U.A.E
Gross profit margin increased to 50.7% in the first half of ’04 from 47.8% in the similar period previous year. However, an increase in distribution expenses kept theprofit growth down to 8.4%, in line with the sales growth in this period. Julphar stock currently trades at a P/E of 17.4x the ’04 EPS. It is low on liquidity with We initiate our coverage of Julphar with a ‘Buy’ recommendation. Based on the discounted cash flow valuation method, we have valued the company’s shares at anintrinsic value of AED4.03/share, which is 15.1% higher than the market price ofAED3.50 as on 17th Oct.
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Price on 17th October
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*Historical P/E and P/BV pertain to respective year-end prices, while those for future years are based on marketprice as on October 17th, 2004. Source: Global research Share price performance chart
Source: Global Research
Global Research - U.A.E
Company Background
Julphar was established in 1980, in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab
Julphar group hadsales of AED443mn Emirates, and it officially started commercial production in 1984. Since then the company has grown fast to become the second largest public shareholding company in the pharmaceutical sector within the GCC region. The Julphar group had sales ofAED443mn (US$120mn) in ’03 and net profit of AED56.5mn (US$15.3mn), which were 18.8% and 31.3% respectively higher than the previous year. The company wentpublic in ’02, listing its shares in the Abu Dhabi Securities Market. It currently has a market capitalisation of AED1.26bn (US$341mn). Most of Julphar’s revenues come from selling of ‘out of patent’ pharmaceutical formulations The company is intoselling of out of in different parts of the world, with GCC markets accounting for the lion’s share of it. It also has exposure to retail pharmacy chains in UAE and Oman. Lately, the company has venturedinto manufacturing and selling of biotech products. Revenues in the first half of ’04 grew by 8.3% to AED242mn, while net profit grew by 8.4% to AED32.5mn. Management
The incorporation of Julphar as a public shareholding company was the vision and
commitment of H H Sheikh Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the ruler of Ras AlKhaimah. The company also has the support of Arab Company for Drug Industries and Medical Appliances (ACDIMA), which is also the second largest shareholder. Thelatter, owned by the various governments in the Arab world, is the guiding force of the drugs and medical appliances industry in the region. The management of Julphar showed commendable vision in usurping on the opportunity to be a successful export-oriented company based in the UAE. UAE per se is a very small market for pharmaceuticals, dominated by the multinational companies (MNCs), export-orientedbusiness to prosper which would have been next to impossible for a domestic company to profitably break into. However, the regulations in the economy were supportive to trade, which made it anideal location for Julphar’s business model to blossom. The success achieved by Julphar in export markets further shows the ability of the management to wade through hurdles inquick time. It also signifies the aggressive marketing intent of the management. While marketing is the strong point of the company, it also has competence in manufacturing quality products, though confined to conversion of bulk drugs toformulations. Facilities compliant with the quality mandated by internationally recognised authorities like US FDA corroborate the future focus of the management. However, it should be noted that Julphar has so far been supported by a protective environment in the form of price regulations, and restrictions on competition fromimports. A change in this scenario would necessitate the management to look at new innovative options to keep the nose in front of the competition. Either, ways to cutcosts have to be unearthed, or newer markets which would allow selling at higher Global Research - U.A.E
prices have to be explored. This would pose a test on the ability of the management tomeet challenges and to exhibit flexibility in their approach. Shareholding and Liquidity
As already stated, ACDIMA, which was established by a resolution from the ArabEconomic Unity Council, holds a considerable stake in Julphar. This body is headquartered in Jordan, and has affiliates in countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq, Tunisia, Syria andAlgeria. In collaboration with some of these companies, ACDIMA performs scientific research, which would be helpful in the long term, for companies in the region. Apart from ACDIMA, there are few other shareholders having substantial stakes in the Table 1: Major shareholders
As in Jun ‘04
As can be seen from the table, Julphar has government bodies holding substantialstakes in it. This augurs well for the company, considering that a significant share of the pharmaceutical purchases in the region is done by the government. Liquidity: The company has 360mn shares outstanding, each having a par value of
AED1. This is post 20% increase in share capital through a rights issue at 1:5 ratio at an offer price of AED1.5, in the second quarter of ‘04. Post the announcement of the rights issue, the share price has come down by 29% from an all time high of AED4.92 in Feb ’04 to the current level of AED3.50. The current price is slightly lower than thelevel, at which it was an year back. However, the average daily traded volume more than doubled in ’04, compared to that in the previous year as shown below.
Table 2: Liquidity of the Julphar stock
Source: ADSM*for the first nine months**at the end of the period In spite of the increase in volumes, Julphar’s share, at a turnover ratio of 16.8%, hasrelatively low liquidity, which is a matter of concern for the shareholders. Global Research - U.A.E
Julphar group has five companies, the parent company-Julphar UAE, and four subsidiaries-Julphar Ecuador, Julphar Germany, Julphar Drug Store and the Scientific Pharmacy, Oman. Subsidiaries facilitate the business of manufacturing and selling pharmaceutical formulations by giving access to newer markets and reaching customers better. Together, they own seven manufacturing plants, five located in the UAE, one in Ecuador and the other in Germany. Table 3: Julphar’s manufacturing facilities
Location Products manufactured
1.8 bn tablets, 250mn hard gelatin capsules,20mn bottles of powder pro suspension Antibiotics and Sterile products Cephalosporins, oral penicillins, Julphar 5 Germany Non-sterile dosage forms Conventional drugs, food supplements, cosmetics Syrup, suspension, oral drops, ointments and Erythropoietin, interferon, GCSF, interlukin About 90% of the products manufactured are sold as branded formulations in different markets. Generic formulations account for 5% of the total sales, while contract manufacturing for international companies account for 5-6%. As at the end of 03, Julphar Group had 2,683 product registrations in different markets of the world.
Chart 1: Proportion of registered products in various markets
Global Research - U.A.E
Number of product registrations increased by 15% in ’03. Getting the products registered is the only major entry barrier apart from distribution in most of the unregulated markets. The group markets 176 brands across the markets. Break-up of the brand strength based on the therapeutic categories is shown below, Chart 2: Brands by therapeutic categories
The proportion of brands in different categories more or less mimics the pattern of diseases in the Middle East markets. Anti-infective and respiratory are two of the largest categories in this market. However, the company has been gradually trying to increase the exposure to the chronic segments, which are growing at a higher rate in most of the markets. Middle East markets account for 90% of the total sales of the Julphar UAE, the parent company, as shown below, Chart 3: Area-wise sales of Julphar-UAE
Global Research - U.A.E
‘Others’ include markets like Far East Asia and Russia. Apart from this the company has exposure in America and Europe through its subsidiaries at Ecuador and Germany.
The plant owned by the German subsidiary is fully certified according to the EU guidelines and was acquired by Julphar as a step towards breaking through the European market. Besides supplying their own products, both these subsidiaries open the doors for Julphar’s products in those markets. The other subsidiaries of the company, Julphar Drug Store (JDS) and Scientific Two of Julphar’ssubsidiaries are Pharmacy, Oman (SPO) play major roles in the marketing of products manufactured by Julphar. JDS, though originally formed to market Julphar’s products in the UAE, currently also acts as a distributing agent for various world-renowned brands of health and cosmetic products in the region. It has an established network of 21 pharmacies in the UAE and has more than 15% share of the total retail business in the country. JDS engages in aggressive marketing and tries to retain customers by providing incentives, for which it has a tie-up with MashreqBank, the leading private bank in the country. Similar to JDS, SPO is the sole agent in Oman, and it also acts as the distribution agent for other international companies. SPO has 17 pharmacy outlets and several clinics in various cities of Oman. Besides these subsidiaries, the company has marketing offices in more than 40 countries in the world. These sponsor public awareness campaigns, seminars, public leaflets and posters as part their marketing activities. However, it should be noted that the major portion of Julphar’s sales comes through tenders, since government purchases are very common in the Middle East markets. Biotech venture: Of late, the company has set up the biotechnology plant and has
started marketing biotech products like erythropoietin, interferon, GCSF and interlukin.
Julphar’s biotech plant fully meets the biological manufacturing requirements of the US FDA. It has a capacity to produce 1.4mn injections of biotech products annually, estimated to be more than the requirement of all the GCC countries put together. This assumes significance in the overall business, as biotech is an area with higher entry barriers than conventional pharmaceutical business. Further, this could also provide a window of opportunity in regulated markets, once Julphar gets its plant approved by the US FDA or UK MCA. Generic biotech products could have an easier route in these markets than other pharmaceutical products, as the rules on patent challenges of Regulatory compliance: Talking about regulations, most of the products that Julphar
markets are those which are out of patent in regulated markets like the US and Europe.
Exception to this rule are a very few products, most of which are under licensing.
Global Research - U.A.E
Further, the company complies with the rules on quality of imports. It is much easier to get the imports from regulated markets, approved by the local authorities, compared to those from unregulated markets like India and China. However, it should be noted that imports from regulated markets are about 30-40% costlier. Contract manufacturing: As a company compliant with regulations, Julphar
becomes a good candidate to do under-license and contract manufacturing for multi-national companies. It already does under-license manufacturing for foreign companies. It is yet to enter into contract manufacturing in a big way, though the company has plans on this front. However, in general, under-license manufacturing is Table 4: Difference between contract manufacturing and under-license
manufacturing
Does only manufacturing, akin Manufactures and markets the product From sales of the product, booked in own books Manufacturing cost, marketing cost and royalty Julphar’s Strategy
Julphar expects to enhance its business in order to align itself to the changing market conditions and regulations. In a scenario of most markets complying with the WTO rules and regulations, the management feels that the company would have new business opportunities, generating lot of value. An example is under-license manufacturing, which the company plans to make its second line of business. Once the market recognises product patents, MNCs would have more confidence to enter into under-licence agreements with companies like Julphar. Consequently, the management expects the business mix to change dramatically in favour of this line of business. In addition to this, expansion of business in newer markets would also have an effect on the geographical business mix, as shown below. Global Research - U.A.E
Chart 4: Planned business mix of Julphar 3-4 years down the line
The most notable change from the current business mix is an increase in exposure to Iraq and the rest of Middle East. The management sees Iraq as a big opportunity, and sees Iraq market asa big opportunity would be aggressively bidding for the open tenders to sell pharmaceutical products in the country. In case of the other relatively newer markets, subsidiaries in Germany and Ecuador would increasingly play a part in routing the sales in those areas. The management makes it clear that, these subsidiaries would play the role of asserting the presence of the company in corresponding areas, rather than being profit earners for the group. Julphar also has plans of entering the US, and expects their plants to be visited by the US FDA authorities in 3-4 months. The procedure has been on for some time, and the management expects US FDA approval in about six months from now. Along with exploring newer markets for its products, the company is also looking to The company looksto reduce costs, by alter its sources of API imports, in order to become cost effective. Future compliance with WTO by countries like India and China (though the latter is still not a WTO member), would increase the confidence in their products and in turn would lead to a relaxation of restrictions on import from these countries. Substitution of European imports by that from India and China could bring Julphar’s costs down by up to 30%. Lastly, the company also intends to improve its overall profitability by launching more specialty products. Products like Augmentin (amoxicillin+clavulanic acid), Epotin specialty arena isexpected to improve (erythropoietin) and Sigmasporin (cyclosporine) are already doing well, and an increase in their sales would boost the overall profit margins. Further, the company also plans to reduce exposure to lower margin categories like painkillers and antacids, in which competition has heightened considerably. Global Research - U.A.E
Global Scenario: Healthcare is one of the largest industries worldwide, and is expected
to reach US$4tn in size by ’05. Out of this, audited sales of pharmaceuticals alone account for $466.3bn in ‘03, according to IMS Health. Global pharmaceutical market has been growing at a CAGR of 10% in the last five years, while it grew by 9% in ’03. North America alone accounts for almost half of the global sales, as shown below. Chart 5: Area wise share of pharmaceutical sales
Apart from being the largest market, North America is also the major growth driver, growing at a CAGR of 14.2% in the last five years. USA accounts for around 95% of the sales in this region. The growth trend was similar in Europe too, though milder at a CAGR of 8.5%. However, another large market, Japan showed signs of saturation growing at just 2.7%, in turn pulling down the overall growth rate. The relatively smaller and low value markets in Asia, Africa and Australia had a CAGR of 10%, the growth mainly driven by the increasing penetration in comparatively nascent markets. In terms of the various therapeutic categories, there has been a distinct shift to chronic segments from acute segments, as dictated by the changing lifestyles and the improving sanitary conditions around the world. Five of the 10 categories fall in those for the treatment of chronic disorders like cardiovascular (CV) and central nervous system Global Research - U.A.E
Table 5: Top ten categories, sales and growth in ‘03
In terms of the long-term growth rates too, chronic segments have outperformed the Chronic segmentshave outperformed, acute ones comfortably. Cholesterol & triglyceride reducers and antipsychotics had 4-year CAGRs of 17% and 23% respectively, while the most popular anti-infective category of cephalosporins had a negative CAGR of 1.3%. Growth of chronic segments was led by large brands like Pfizer’s Lipitor (statin) Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa (antipsychotic) and Sanofi Synthelabo’s Plavix (anti-clotting agent), while the erstwhile top brand, Astra Zeneca’s Prilosec’s (anti-ulcerant) sales declined considerably owing to the launch of the corresponding generic variant. Pfizer, with revenues of $45bn in ’03 is the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, followed by GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Growth of Generics: Lately, the growth of these large companies, which sell
Lately, low costgenerics have been patented products, was thwarted by generic companies, based in low cost manufacturing locations like Israel, India, China and Jordan. The latter have been helped by a few regulatory changes, which were prompted by a drive to reduce cost of social support in developed countries, especially the US. Most significant among the regulations that supported generics was the 180-day exclusivity awarded to any generic product launched consequent to a successful patent challenge rendering the latter invalid. Companies were also allowed to start work on generic products, way before the patent expiry, so that they can be launched as soon as the patent expires.
Supported by the helpful regulations, generic sales in regulated markets have outwitted the growth of patented product sales in the last few years, in turn gaining Global Research - U.A.E
Chart 6: Generic sales and penetration in regulated markets as in ‘03
Major companies operating in the generic space include Teva, Ivax, Mylan, Watson and Ranbaxy. These companies concentrate on generic sales in both regulated markets and the relatively lower margin unregulated markets. The unregulated markets, where copied versions of patented drugs are allowed, provides opportunities to smaller generic companies too, as the entry barriers are much lower. However, these opportunities would dry out, as and when these countries comply with the WTO regulations, expected in ’05 for most. Different business models: In a scenario of varying adoption of the WTO standards by different countries, companies world over follow various business models ranging from research-oriented innovation to contract manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Shown below, is the value chain of different pharmaceutical business models. Global Research - U.A.E
Chart 7: value chain of pharmaceutical business models
Higher risk, higher reward
Cipla, Julphar
*New chemical entity, **New drug delivery system#Active pharmaceutical ingredients##North China Pharmaceutical Company Global Research - U.A.E
Big companies follow the model of selling patented products, which needs huge investment in new molecule research. Scale becomes imperative to withstand failures which are very common in research. The average cost of taking a molecule from the discovery stage to the market is estimated at $800mn, incorporating the abysmally low probability of success. This takes around 10 years, which makes the revenue flow management extremely difficult. As a result smaller companies with research skills concentrate on contract research or outlicensing of molecules at different stages of clinical trials, so that their costs are restricted. Compared to this, generic companies are at a much less risky end, piggybacking on the research of innovator companies. However, returns are restricted too, as they face unbridled competition from open markets. Notwithstanding this, some generic companies generate higher value by concentrating on ‘difficult to copy’ specialty products and gaining exclusivities through patent challenges. With the regulations increasingly supporting generics, as already stated, more companies are finding it an attractive area to enter into. In spite of very little innovative research being involved in the business, generic companies selling in regulated markets still have to put up with the entry barrier of having to comply with the stringent quality parameters laid down Entry barriers are even lower for selling formulations in unregulated and semi-regulated markets, which Julphar is into. Formulations sold in these markets are effectively generics, as product patents do not hold any value. Companies are allowed to copy patented products, and sell them in the market as branded products. As a result, large number of companies and a lot of substitutable products co-exist in the market. If not for the price controls in some of the markets, it is perfect competition, which in turn makes it a customer’s market, with prices ruling low. Distributors too are at an advantageous position, possessing substantial bargaining power in this scenario. Major unregulated markets: Majority of the markets in the world are unregulated.
The table below shows the larger unregulated/semi-regulated regions, which are potential markets for Julphar, considering the model that it follows. Global Research - U.A.E
Table 6: Unregulated markets, size and major characteristics
Complex regulations and distribution networks, low on IPR** Low on IPR, highly developed domestic industry Increased government role, popularity of OTC products Relatively stringent on IPR, import dependent, higher price levels Government support for generics, erratic growth patterns, imports Highly import dependent though from selective countries, Source: Industry sources, EIU estimates, Global Research*Approximate market size in ’02**Intellectual property rights Julphar, which currently has most of its business in unregulated markets, has substantial exposures in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq and other markets in the MENA Pharmaceutical markets in the MENA region: Pharmaceutical market in the
MENA region, which has an estimated size of more than $7bn, grew at a CAGR of 10.6% in the period ’98-’02. Within the region, Jordan and Egypt are over 90% self-sufficient, while the rest of the countries produce less than 20% of their high cost importsfrom the developed requirements. The latter rely on imports, predominantly from Europe and the US. Also for the manufacture of formulations in the region, 85% of the bulk drugs are imported from countries like France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom, which renders these manufacturers cost inefficient to some extent. Coming on to the GCC, the market size is estimated to be more than $2bn for the region. Per capita health spending for the GCC countries is substantially higher than that of the other MENA countries. However, the figures pale in comparison with Global Research - U.A.E
Chart 8: Per capita health expenditure*
Germany UK Australia Qatar UAE Kuwait Bahrain Lebanon Saudi Oman Jordan Libya Tunisia Syria Morocco Egypt Source: WHO World Health Report 2004*figures pertain to 2001 The average per capita annual spending on pharmaceuticals in GCC countries is $60 ($550 in the US), according to the official estimates. Markets in GCC are clearly demarcated into government and private business. Healthcare provided by the government is almost free, while private markets cater to the expatriates and those citizens who do not wish to avail of government facilities. Procurement of medicines is done through joint tenders floated by the GCC states or by the individual ministries of health. For emergency requirements, local pharmaceutical distributors directly supply to government hospitals too. All the states pursue a uniform strategy on drug price control, in view of joint tenders issued. Price is an important criterion for the tender purchase, though other factors like quality of the product and service and support also hold significance in evaluation of bids. Some countries give preference to those products that have already been registered in other GCC markets or in European countries, which makes it difficult for imports from third world countries. Even the exporters from developed countries have to enter into tie-ups with local distributors or agents, who are instrumental in selling the products.
Non-patented products dominate the GCC markets, despite four of them, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and UAE being WTO members. These markets are expected to recognize product patents from ’05. However, there is a lot of uncertainty on the future changes on this front. Currently, non-patented drugs from an MNC get preference in registration over patented ones, because of the royalty to be paid on the latter. The chain from supply to the end consumer is more or less similar for all the markets in Global Research - U.A.E
Chart 9: Pharmaceutical market mechanics in GCC markets
*Generics denote out of patent products, could be sold as branded ones A look at the market mechanics of individual markets, which Julphar has exposure to, would give a better idea about the potential opportunities of the company. Saudi Arabian market: One of the largest markets in the MENA region, Saudi
Arabia, had a size of around $1.5bn in ’02, and was expected to grow at more than 10% in the years to come. The public sector hospitals, clinics and primary health centres account for 42% of the market. Major diseases in Saudi Arabia include gastro-intestinal disorders, tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases, malaria, diabetes, ophthalmological diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Around 80% of the market depends on imports. Category-wise breakup and major sources of imports are shown Global Research - U.A.E
Chart 10: Category-wise pharmaceutical imports and sources of imports of
Saudi Arabia
Source: WHO World Health Report 2004 Since it is primarily a tender market, the ability to supply large quantities with confirmed supply schedule and flexible pricing ability are important for the companies operating in this market. It is a protected market and both importers and direct investors face bureaucratic hurdles. Because of the complicated, costly and time-consuming import documentation requirements, Saudi Arabia is known to be the most costly market within GCC to enter. Although all the imported products are free of duty, local manufacturers are given preferential treatment, in terms of facilitating approvals.
Banaja, the leading domestic pharmaceutical company, imports and distributes products, and has established partnerships with 12 leading international companies.
Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO) and Saudi Arabian Japanese Pharmaceutical Company are the other major domestic UAE market: The UAE market, which had a size of around $400mn in ‘02, is mostly
served by imports, while the domestic production, which is not enough to cater to the market demand is export oriented. As in the case of Saudi Arabia, the UAE market also has seen double-digit growth rates in the past. Per-capita pharmaceutical expenditure in the country is one of the highest in the MENA region at $105. Also the prices of medicines are relatively higher in the country, owing to the price being regulated by the government with a cap as well as a floor. For example, the price of an anti-hypertensive here is 9 times that in the Indian sub-continent. Prescription products account for 85% of the UAE market, while OTC products account for 10% and lower priced generics account for 5%. Antibiotics dominate the prescription segment as shown in the chart Global Research - U.A.E
Chart 11: Category-wise pharmaceutical imports in Dubai
Government purchases in the UAE form 45% of the total, which is the lowest among GCC Private sector has amajor role to play in markets. A marked increase was seen in the private sector business, as the country has recently decided not to provide free medical assistance to the expatriates. Unlike the case in Saudi Arabia and the other markets in GCC, UAE is not dominated by tender purchases. It has a more organised distribution system, which markets the imported products. Ten countries account for 80% of the pharmaceutical imports to the UAE, eight of Registration ofproducts from third them being developed countries. Registration of products with the MoH in the UAE is world countries isdifficult in the UAE extremely difficult for the companies from third world countries. Around 7% of the imports are re-exported from the UAE, with the major destinations being Iran, Pakistan and Lebanon. The pharmaceutical import figure for the UAE also includes imports of bulk drugs by domestic companies, majority of which goes into production of formulations for exports. Julphar is the largest domestic company, while the other major ones are Gulf Inject Company, Global Pharma, Medpharma, Pharmacare and Neo Pharma. The margins of these companies are constrained by the high cost imports, mostly from Europe, as mentioned before. Other markets in GCC:
Table 7: Salient features of markets in the GCC
Size ($mn) Government Features of the market High demand for cardiovascular drugs, restricts generics,compulsory medical insurance Focus on quality, sell only through Qatari agents 80-90% tender purchases, generic imports have made animpact Large market for cardiovascular products, large share ofEuropean imports Source: Oman Economic Review, Ficci report, Global Estimates Global Research - U.A.E
Iraq market: It had a size of $400mn in ’02, though the organised demand was severely
affected in the last two years due to the problems in the country. In light of the heavy expected demand for pharmaceutical products, Iraq represents an important market for pharmaceutical companies. More than 42% of Iraq’s population is under 15. High level of child malnutrition and infectious diseases constitute major problems, in turn signifying the importance of vaccination programmes and other prevention policies. The market was highly centralized, controlled by the overbearing state machinery in the past, and was predominantly tender-based. It is also highly import-dependent as in the case of other countries in the region. It is different from markets like Saudi Arabia, in that there is no local production to be protected, and is much lower on bureaucratic hurdles or rigid regulations. However, the lenient registration regulations have led to stiff competition. Jordan’s pharmaceutical companies dominated the market in the past, though their share has come down to around 20% in ’02 from 50% in early ‘90s. The high import dependence was in consequence to the country’s manufacturing facilities severely hampered by the restrictions on import technology, thanks to the UN sanctions. Going forward, the import dependence is expected to continue, though there would be a change in market mechanics. With the likelihood emergence of federalism as the most favored political system in the country, a decentralized healthcare system would transpire, pointing towards an abundance of tenders and supply contracts for However, the susceptibility of US-linked foreign investment laws to annulment, under a future sovereign government suggests that leading multinationals are unlikely to commit heavily to the sector over the next two years. This would mean a substantial opportunity for the players in the region, especially Jordan-based ones, due to their logistical advantages and their experience in Iraq and other high-risk markets like Algeria, Lebanon and Sudan. Recently, Iraqi Ministry of Health expressed their desire to apply the European and American standards of importing drugs, meaning that quality players would be at an advantage to win contracts. IPR laws in unregulated markets: The implementation of the highest quality
standards is a part of the endeavor to comply with the WTO regulations. However, product patent infringement is allowed though at varying degrees currently, in all the unregulated markets. In Latin America patent infringement is allowed on a case-by-case basis on the government’s assessment of the essentiality of the treatment and the consumer. For example in Brazil, doctors at public hospitals are allowed to prescribe only generics and in Argentina, government purchases only generics for public health facilities. While the limited generic substitution in these countries are government Global Research - U.A.E
motivated, in some other markets like India and China, IPR laws are extremely lax, allowing all and sundry to infringe on patents, and come up with their own brands. Industry Outlook
Changes in regulations would have a major impact on the pharmaceutical growth.
Branded products are expected to grow at around 10% in the next five years, while generics are expected to grow at 20%, according to IMS Health. Share of generics in the overall market is expected to increase from 8% in ’03 to around 12% in ’08. This would be a direct effect of the change in regulations and government support, facilitating generic switchover in developed countries. Category-wise growth is expected to continue the trend of higher growth in the chronic segments.
Growth in the unregulated markets is expected to be at a slightly higher rate than the overall Product patentregime not to have a growth rate, owing to the low penetration in many developing countries. Regulatory changes, especially compliance with the TRIPS, would bring about a paradigm shift in the dynamics of the industry in these markets. With the introduction of the product patent regime from ‘05, local companies will not be allowed to market products which were patented after ‘95. This would have a major bearing on the markets, especially those having large number of under patent products, marketed by local companies, rather than the innovators. However, this is not the case in the GCC markets, where local companies predominantly sell out-of-patent products. Patented products are either sold by innovators or by the local companies which do under-license manufacturing. Growth in GCC markets would be helped by the following factors; Large spending on health. Saudi Arabian government on an average spends around Expected implementation of the new co-operative medical insurance scheme in countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE.
The plans to restrict expatriates from bringing medicines from their home country to the UAE, which would augur well for the local companies.
Though the market is expected to grow at a high rate, regulatory changes would have substantial indirect impact, through relaxation of import and pricing restrictions. It is not clear Relaxation of traderestrictions to have whether the current restrictions on imports and pricing would be lifted, as the authorities in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are keen on protecting the local industries. However, with time, these restrictions would be relaxed, which could lead to a major drop in prices. Simultaneously, local companies would be favored by the relaxation of restrictions on imports from third world countries, which would reduce costs. We expect these developments to offset each other, and the profitability of local companies to remain status quo. Global Research - U.A.E
We also expect privatization of the industry to go hand in hand with the opening up of the GCC markets. This would mark a major change in the mode of purchase.
Distributors would have a more important role to play, compared to the present scenario in which most of the purchases are through the tender route. More importantly, privatization would also lead to a strict preference for the most competitive supplier, which might not always favor the local players. Considering the evolving scenario and the present regulatory environment, we can identify a few common success factors for the companies following this model.
Key success factors for the business: As we have seen before, most of the
unregulated, developing markets are price driven, owing to the low income levels of the customers, and the lower costs for the manufacturers, mainly due to the absence of research costs. Consequently, prices and costs are highly critical in these markets. Ability to cut prices to meet competition is essential, especially in developing
markets. Price sensitivity of medicines is generally lower than many other essential goods. However, this is much higher in some of the unregulated markets, in particular for certain segments like anti-infectives, vaccines and treatments for contagious diseases, which companies use as an opportunity to cut prices. For instance, price of AIDS drugs declined from $10,000/year to $350/year, in the space of 12 months, owing to the government allowing generic imports from India. An increase in the number of generic players leads to a dramatic decline in the prices in developed countries as shown below, and it is even more radical in the case of unregulated markets, where generic players abound in the market.
Chart 12: Price decline with the increase in number of players
Source: Study done by Congressional Budget Office, USA Global Research - U.A.E
In order to be price competitive, companies would have to be highly efficient in Companies can beprice competitive by managing their raw material costs. Raw material costs would largely depend on
1. Having captive bulk drug manufacturing, 2. Location of the manufacturing facilities or source of raw materials.
Captive bulk drug facilities help the company to take advantage of high prices at the time of shortages, which are quite common for some bulk drugs. However, a more important factor is the source of raw materials, as the costs vary widely across locations. Raw material costs in countries like China, Egypt and India are much lower than others, thanks to the large number of cost efficient small-scale players in Though not as important as the raw material costs, management of running costs
too are critical, especially in the case of production of some bulk drugs (like anti-TB drugs), which are power intensive. Companies based in areas like Middle East, where power is highly subsidised are at an advantage on this front. Even if a company is not very cost efficient, it can still operate at high margins, if it can be the ‘first to launch’ many of the products. It would have a window of
opportunity to sell at high prices, till the second player comes in. Even 3-6 months of high priced sales assumes significance, considering the shorter product life cycle As in the case of being early to launch, another value generating strategy is to concentrate on launching innovative variants of an existing product. The most
common innovation is reducing the frequency of dosage, thus bolstering compliance. Others include innovative delivery systems like transdermal patches or simple injections, which could act faster, or having mechanisms of symptomatic release of formulations, all of which allow premium pricing. These could also enhance the life cycles of products.
Launching an innovative variant or being early in the market needs exceptional chemistry and reverse engineering skills. Skills in NDDS also come handy in
developing new variants. The importance of this can be understood from the fact that the domestic industry in India and China, which are famous for companies with good chemistry skills, are well developed. Another factor that affects profitability and growth is the exposure to chronic
categories. Categories like CV and CNS are relatively less crowded and more
profitable in unregulated markets, thanks to these segments being much smaller and Global Research - U.A.E
less attractive compared to anti infectives, in the past. However, with the rising income levels and changing lifestyles, these ailments are becoming common in Developing countries are also becoming quality conscious, with cGMP of
manufacturing already compulsory in many countries. This in turn is advantageous for the larger companies, as it could alleviate competition from smaller substandard Choice and quality of products take the companies only through the halfway. To take it forward, products have to be registered in different markets. Registration
could take a long time in some of the markets, for instance up to 18 months in Saudi Arabia and 12 months in Russia. Given below are the registration costs per product in some of the unregulated markets across the world.
Table 8: Cost of registration in some of the unregulated markets
Any company looking at being a major exporter should have the wherewithal to bear these registration costs and should have the intent to look at it as a long-term investment.
However, in some of the markets like Brazil, government plays a major part in procuring generic products, generally through the tender route. Sales in such markets can be highly volatile depending on the number of tenders that the company wins. Post registration, effective management of the different marketing channels
completes the job. Unlike in developed markets, where monopoly and brand power facilitates selling, products have to be pushed through the middlemen in unregulated markets. Consistent communication on price and product launches with distributors, wholesalers and retailers could give an edge over others, who sell the same products. In some of the markets, companies also employ numerous ‘push’ strategies like discounts and complements to woo the channel partners. Having a range of products is also important in getting into tie-ups with
distributors, especially in markets like Russia, which are controlled by large Global Research - U.A.E
distributors. However, detailing skills are less important in many of these Middle East markets, due to the large proportion of tender sales, or the cardinal role of the distributors. The complexity of the distribution system vis-à-vis the brand concentration is very important in the approach that a player takes in each market. Competitive Analysis
In most of the markets that Julphar operates in, MNCs hold substantial shares, mostly Julphar is one of thelargest among the marketing patented and other advanced products. For example, GlaxoSmithKline has around 13% share in the UAE market. Local companies and importers from countries like Jordan and Egypt compete for the rest of the pie, on the basis of price, selling ‘out of patent’ products. Share of the regional companies is particularly low in the UAE, while it is much higher in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iraq. For example, Julphar, which is the largest domestic player has 8% share in the UAE market. Within the listed companies in the region, Julphar is one of the largest as shown in the comparison Chart 13: 2003 Revenues of major listed pharmaceutical companies in the
Source: Company reports, www.zawya.com Arab Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company (APM) and Dar Al Dawa are based in Jordan, while Eipico is an Egyptian company. It should be noted that the company would additionally face competition in the future from generic companies in India and China, as and when doors are opened for them. In this context, Julphar has to be competitive in comparison with these companies too, for long-term success. Global Research - U.A.E
Cost competitiveness of Julphar
Positives
Negatives
companies in other developing coun-tries.
Coming on to the competence on the product development and selection side, the company looks to be ahead of many of the local companies. It became the first company in the region to launch specialty biotech products.
The company has adequate exposure to faster growing chronic segments.
However, on a global perspective, currently the generic companies focus on NDDS research and try to outwit competition by bringing newer and efficient variants. Julphar is yet to be exposed to a situation of such unrelenting competition due to the regulated scenario. It would be imperative to hone up the research skills in a free market As we have seen before, effective selling is as important as research and product selection. This is where Julphar has a definite advantage over the other companies. Its experience in bidding for tenders in the GCC markets will leave it in good stead to pursue expansion ambitions in other markets, especially Iraq. Getting the first product registered in a new market is always a hard task. Julphar has got number of products registered in numerous markets.
Having own marketing offices in many countries helps in building the brand and It has a complete range of products, making it ripe for partnering large distributors.
Over the years, the company has acquired the name of a quality manufacturer. This not only facilitates entry into newer markets, but also renders it the best candidate in the region to enter into under-license manufacturing tie-ups.
Global Research - U.A.E
Julphar’s performance in the last few years fitted its profile as a leading pharmaceutical company in the region. Revenues grew at a CAGR exceeding 15% in the last two decades. It was also successful in warding off competition and maintaining its Revenue growth: Revenues for the group grew by a CAGR of 16% in the last three
years. This was despite the inconsistent growth exhibited by some of its subsidiaries.
Julphar UAE, the parent company grew by 15.3% in the same period. Growth for the group peaked at 18.8% in ‘03, owing to the robust demand growth in major markets like Saudi Arabia and UAE. This would have been even higher but for the indifferent performances of the subsidiaries, Julphar Ecuador and SPO, both of whose revenues declined. Julphar’s sales growth is higher than the other major companies in the MENA Chart 14: Revenue growth of major listed pharmaceutical companies in the
Source: Company reports, www.zawya.com Growth trends as seen above further confirm the opportunity in the GCC markets compared to the other markets in the Middle East. Julphar’s growth was also helped by its ongoing focus on entering newer markets. The company has a mix of both tender sales and sales through distributors, which in turn has considerable impact on its profitability. Trends in profitability: Julphar’s gross profit margins declined to 48.9% in ’03 from
52.7% in ’02. This was due to an increase in the proportion of tender sales, according to the management. It is further substantiated by a decline in the distribution costs to 27.2% of sales in ’03 from 29.7% in the previous year. Overall profitability was further boosted by the streamlining of administrative expenses which came down to 8.1% of sales in ’03 from 10% last year. Effectively, Julphar’s operating profit margins Global Research - U.A.E
increased to 13.4% from 12.4% in ’02. Net margins increased to 12.8% from 11.5% last year, further helped by a decline in the finance costs. However, Julphar’s profitability pales in comparison to other pharmaceutical companies in the region and generic companies in India and China.
Chart 15: Julphar’s profitability compared to other major companies in the
Source: Company reports, www.zawya.com Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (SPI) is an Indian company which sells ‘out of patent’ formulations. It has captive bulk drug production and cheap sources of raw materials, helping it to achieve high levels of profit margins, the area in which Julphar lacks.
However, Julphar has been continuously improving, and is taking steps to cut costs. In the last few years, growth in profit and sales comfortably outperformed the increase in assets for the company, thus improving its returns.
Return on invested capital (ROIC): Notwithstanding the improvement over the
years, the company is still a value destroyer based on its ROIC. It had an ROIC of 8.1% in ’03, which is much lower than the estimated weighted average cost of capital (WACC) of 9.5%. Apart from the low margins, below average asset turnover ratio too pulls down the return generated by the business. The company has 212 days sales of accounts receivable, which is very high compared to the industry norms. This is due to the huge proportion of exports in sales, and also its exposure to markets which are known for long credit periods. Apart from the working capital, the company also has put in large capital in the form of fixed assets, pointing to the high investment cost in the country. Investment in advanced technology, though would give the company a competitive edge, has further inflated the asset size. However, lower than average profitability and turnover ratio illustrate the future scope of improvement for the company. The chart below shows how the various parameters have been improving Global Research - U.A.E
Chart 16: Changes in return ratios during 2001-03
Source: Julphar, Global Research
With the investment for the future already made and most of the plants being relatively new, the company is in a position to improve its turnover ratio and increase the returns generated. Further, the company’s plans to reduce exposure to low margin segments would also help towards this. The performance in the first half of ’04 already reflects Interim results: Julphar’s sales for the first half of ’04 increased to AED241.6mn,
8.3% higher than the corresponding period last year. Relatively lower growth compared to previous years was mainly due to the geopolitical tensions in the major markets.
However, the company was successful in reducing its raw material costs as a proportion of sales, consequent to an increase in exposure to specialty products. Table 9: Performance of Julphar in the first half of ‘04
Global Research - U.A.E
An increase in the gross profits was offset by the escalation in distribution costs.
Further, there has also been an increase in finance costs pulling down the bottomline growth to 8.4%. EPS recorded a decline, as share capital was increased by 20%. This lower growth can be considered as a temporary blip, and initiatives in Iraq aided by an improving geopolitical situation should help the company to improve its performance Risk Analysis: The pharmaceutical sector is characterised by low risk, as revenues are
not affected by the economic cycles. This applies more to a company like Julphar, as the company is into selling of out of patent products, in turn alleviating the volatility further. Moreover, pharmaceutical business in general has low operating leverage, though sensitivity of profit on that count would be relatively higher for the company, due to its high working capital intensity. However, Julphar has very low financial leverage too (D/E ratio-0.11), which lessens the risk. The company faces a few non-systematic risks, mainly due to the scenario in which it operates in. Though UAE is considered as an open economy, industries like pharmaceuticals are protected to a large extent from low cost imports. Compliance with WTO regulations would force UAE to allow free imports from all the other countries, Also, the product patent regime would force the company to stop marketing While Saudi Arabia, the largest market for Julphar, is unlikely to comply with WTO regulation in the medium term, any other changes in the protectionist policies of the country would have an impact on the company’s performance. The company operates in a regulated pricing environment in many of its markets, which would probably change in the future. Apart from the risk due to regulatory changes, the company also face the risk of potential defaults by customers in foreign markets. This assumes significance as it operates at high level of receivables, as already mentioned.
Global Research - U.A.E
We performed a discounted cash flow valuation (DCF) of the company to arrive at a fair value. The DCF valuation used here is based on the free cash flow to firm (FCFF) defined as cash flow left over after covering capital expenditure and working capital needs. The FCFF is estimated for the period 2004 to 2007, and 2007 is the terminal year.
In the terminal year, all FCFF is capitalised. The FCFF and terminal value are then discounted back to present value on the basis of discounting factor. The summation of all the present values of future cash flows and terminal value is the firm value of Julphar.
Value of the long term debt is deducted to arrive at the equity value of Julphar. The key assumptions made for the DCF are given below.
We have assumed a risk-free rate of 4.25%, which is taken in line with the discounting rate in Kuwait, considering that both the countries have the same risk ratings, incidentally the best among the GCC countries. We have assumed an equity risk premium of 5.75%. This is lower than average, and is meant to capture the steady and low-risk nature of the pharmaceutical business. A beta of 1 is taken for Julphar to reflect the market risk appropriately. Based on the above assumptions and the CAPM model, the cost of equity for Cost of debt is assumed to be 4.5% based on cost of financing in the past. It would seldom require to rely on long-term financing, as most of the investments are already made. Major Assumptions on growth:
We expect the pharmaceutical industry in GCC markets to exhibit low double digit volume growth rates. The company is expected to grow in line with the industry. assumed based onthe operations in a However, we expect the prices of ‘out of patent’ products to decline, as a result of increasing competition consequent to the opening up of the economy. The price decline is assumed to be drastic in UAE, as the country is the most likely to be opened up soon. Assumed price decline in Saudi Arabia is much milder, as we expect the country to continue following the protectionist policies.
We expect the Iraq market to grow at very high rates from ‘05. An improving geopolitical situation would boost sales. Privatisation and opening up of the market should facilitate Julphar to increase its market share in the country. We have assumed a terminal growth rate of 5%. Pharmaceutical sector world over has been growing at above average growth rates for many years. Growth in GCC markets is bound to be even higher in the future, due to the relatively higher population growth. Global Research - U.A.E
Major assumptions on margins:
The contribution from higher margin under-licence manufacturing is expected to Owing to the change in sources of supply, we expect the cost of raw materials to Distribution expenses are expected to come down in ’05 owing to the expected reduction in distribution margins in UAE. It would be reduced to 42% of the primary sales value from the current 63%, according to the management.
Reduction of distribution margins would affect the revenues of JDS, the retail Assumptions on asset size:
As stated before, the company seems to have already made the investments for the future. We expect the fixed asset turnover ratios to improve in the years to come. Receivable level for the company is extraordinarily high, and we expect this to come down gradually owing to the regional diversification. Table 10: DCF valuation
Global Research - U.A.E
Since Julphar is a high growth company, it should be noted that most of the value is back ended or in other words captured in the terminal value. This renders the fair value highly sensitive to the terminal assumptions on growth, margins and asset turnover. Table 11: Sensitivity analysis
Relative valuation: There are no other companies of similar size in the UAE for the
valuations to be compared with. Given below is the comparison with few of the larger Table 12: Valuations of major pharmaceutical companies in the region
Source: company reports, www.zawya.com, Global research*Current prices and profit and sale in ’03 are considered**SPIMACO not considered as it is an outlier The abnormally high figure for SPIMACO is due to the halving of its profits in ’03. In the case of the companies in Egypt and Jordan, business models are different from that of Julphar’s, as these companies primarily cater to the respective domestic markets unlike Julphar, which depends on exports. However, based on the comparison, it can be seen that Julphar’s P/E is higher than the industry average. Based on the estimated earnings in ’04 Julphar is trading at a P/E of 18.3. However, since P/Es based on the trailing four quarters are not available for all the companies, and since the companies have divergent characteristics, we have not taken relative valuations into account in our final recommendation.
Julphar is doing business in a market conducive to high growth. The company
has the advantage of being an early mover in the region, and the brand image
Global Research - U.A.E
that it has made for itself. Going forward, the company is bound to face more
competition, consequent to the opening up of the GCC economies, which would
necessitate better cost efficiency for survival. The fact that the company
currently relies on high cost European imports reflects the scope of profitability
improvement. An expected increase in the contribution of revenues from
under-licence manufacturing would also augment the company’s margins.
Further, Julphar is in a position to derive the fruits of the investments made in
the last few years. We believe that the current share price does not fully capture
the upsides. Based on the fair value of AED4.03 arrived through DCF valuation,
which is 15.1% higher than the current price of AED3.50, we recommend a
‘buy’ on the share.
Global Research - U.A.E
Account:
opriation
Global Research - Kuwait
ferences from translation of foreign currencies ALANCE SHEET
otal Liabilities
Assets:
Liabilities:
Proposed board of Director's remuneration Global Research - U.A.E
(64,471)
(53,286)
(51,169)
(20,804)
(18,754)
inancing acti
vided by operating acti
o

xchange rate change on cash and cash equi oceeds fr
Operating
Net cash pr
Add: Proceeds from disposal of plant and equipment Financing
Add: Proceeds from medium term bank loans Less: Settlements of medium term bank loans Net cash fr
Global Research - Kuwait
aluation
er ratios
v

itability
erage Ratios
vidend pay
Ratios used f
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Disclosure Checklist
1.Global Investment House did not receive and will not receive any compensation from the company or anyone else for the preparation of this report.
2.The company being researched holds more than 5% stake in Global Investment House.
3.Global Investment House makes a market in securities issued by this company.
4.Global Investment House acts as a corporate broker or sponsor to this company.
5.The author of or an individual who assisted in the preparation of this report (or a member of his/her household) has a direct ownership position in securities issued by this company.
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