22. February 2021 | 09:15 CET
QuantumScape, Q & M Dental Group, Allianz - how to take advantage of the economic recovery!
The hope for a significant economic recovery in 2021 increases with the worldwide vaccination programs starting. But due to the renewed setback caused by the current ongoing lockdown, the forecast has again been revised downwards. Following the expected easing in March, however, the mood should brighten. Against this background, the Ifo Institute's latest economic forecast predicts an increase in price-adjusted GDP of 4.2% for 2021 as a whole.
time to read: 3 minutes by Stefan Feulner
Asia leads the way
The Asian economies coped much better with the Corona pandemic. Almost all economies around the world had to concede ground and slipped into a historic recession. By contrast, the Land of the Rising Sun is likely to have recorded growth of just under 2%. For 2021, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects growth of just under 8%. China will therefore overtake the United States as the world's largest economy as early as 2028. In the wake of their "big brother," the Asian tiger economies such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan have also grown disproportionately. Here, we have seen a sharp rise in wage levels in recent years, especially among the middle class, which has naturally resulted in a significantly increased lifestyle. Consumer spending is rising enormously, and the urge to travel abroad, eat more upscale food and invest in wellness and health products is growing.
Dental industry booming
In terms of beauty, Asians place particular emphasis on healthy, white teeth. In the fast-growing dental aesthetics and dentistry market, Singapore-based Q & M Dental Group is the country's largest provider and one of the leading groups in all of Asia. In addition to 114 dental practices, the holding Company operates 5 medical clinics and 3 dental supplies and equipment distribution companies in Singapore, Malaysia and China. 230 dentists and over 400 employees serve a clientele of over 600,000 patients. In addition, Q & M Dental Group established its own academy, Q & M School, to offer dental education programs.
Big plans in the new year
Nevertheless, the Company was set back somewhat in 2020. In contrast to Germany, dental treatments are suspended in Asia during a lockdown. Because of this, of course, business in 2020 initially collapsed and was postponed to 2021. Q & M Dental Group also put the opening of ten more clinics and further expansion into Malaysia and China into the current year. The expansion of the R&D area shows that the Q & M Dental Group has a pioneering role. Here, the development of a platform is being pushed with the help of artificial intelligence. The Q & M Dental Group works with AI Singapore and a team from the International Medical University in Malaysia.
The clinical data that Q & M has collected over the years is combined with dentistry's latest research on the platform. This allows the patient's underlying disease to be quickly identified and the most appropriate treatment method to be suggested. The share, which is traded in Germany and its home stock exchange in Singapore, is quoted at EUR 0.35. With no other lockdowns currently in sight in Asia, working life in the dental sector should return to normal. In the long term, the share offers excellent growth opportunities due to the economic environment.
Defying the pandemic
Last week, the German insurance leader presented encouraging figures. Despite a fiscal year plagued by the Corona pandemic, Allianz exceeded analysts' estimates. Operating profit fell 9% to EUR 10.8 billion and net income fell as much as 14% to EUR 6.8 billion. The losses in connection with the pandemic hit the Munich-based Company particularly hard. Last year, for example, the Group had to pay for Corona-related insurance claims amounting to around EUR 2.0 billion. Above all, the pandemic-related closure of plants, the cancellation of major events and losses in credit insurance harmed earnings. Despite the weak fiscal year, the dividend will be maintained. Shareholders will thus receive a generous dividend, stable at EUR 9.60 as in the previous year.
Discovered by investment legend
There is positive news from battery specialist QuantumScape. None other than the stock market legend, George Soros, is investing around USD 280 million in the US startup, which is working on alternative concepts to the conventional lithium-ion battery cell. German automotive giant VW has also been a shareholder in QuantumScape for more than two years. VW and QuantumScape want to establish a large-scale production of solid-state batteries in the medium term. As part of the business figures' publication, it has now been announced that a pilot plant is to be built in San José, California. The plant, called QS-0, should produce more than 100,000 samples of solid-state cells per year. The Company's share price, which was listed on Nasdaq last year, has corrected since December from USD 130.00 to currently USD 62.01.