Covid-19: India gas maker shares jump amid shortage of life-saving oxygen

A Covid-19 patient waits to be allocated a bed at LNJP Hospital, amid shortage of beds and medical oxygen, as coronavirus cases surge in record numbers across the country, in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)
An acute shortage of medical oxygen in India, amid a deadly wave of coronavirus infections, has triggered a surge in stocks seen linked to industrial gases.

Supplies of medical oxygen, essential in many cases to treat seriously ill patients, have been depleted as hospitals around India have been overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases. The nation recorded 314,835 new infections on Thursday, the world’s biggest one-day jump, and taking its case-count to almost 16 million, the second-most globally.

Workers load refilled oxygen tanks into a vehicle at a refill station in Navi Mumbai, India, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. India saw a record one-day jump with more than 300,000 new coronavirus infections, marking a grim milestone for the country as a deadlier second wave showing no signs of abating.

Oxygen manufacturer Linde India Ltd. has gained more than 90% so far this year, while National Oxygen Ltd. has advanced 59%.

Even a company that doesn’t make or supply industrial gases, much less high-in-demand oxygen, has surged: While there’s no evidence that investors are buying Bombay Oxygen Investments Ltd. because of its name, shares in the firm with a market cap of $44 million have gained 132% from a Jan. 29 low.

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