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Healthcare benefits from defensive qualities

In recent months the healthcare sector has shown its defensive characteristics by outperforming the overall market in a difficult environment.

Fernando Luque 16.04.2003
In the first quarter of this year the healthcare sector, as measured by the MSCI Healthcare index, lost 1.5% in dollar terms against a 5.5% decrease in the MSCI World. March was particularly positive for the sector as it gained 2.7% compared with a loss of 0.5% for the overall market. It seems that, as the manager of the ING Healthcare fund has said, the geopolitical and macroeconomic environment favoured the sector’s defensive characteristics.

One aspect of the sector’s defensive qualities is its above average dividend yield. Nowadays it is not easy to find a sector whose main companies have increased their dividends every year since 1998.

But many analysts do not expect excellent results for this first quarter because of the impact of important patents expirations las

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Fernando Luque

Fernando Luque  es el Senior Financial Editor de www.morningstar.es