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    AIRASIA   MYL5099OO006

AIRASIA GROUP BERHAD

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U.S. downgrade could stoke bias against Malaysian airlines: regulator

02/11/2020 | 08:04am EDT
FILE PHOTO:  Malaysian Airlines flag flies in front of the traffic control tower at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang

Malaysia's aviation regulator said on Tuesday its airlines could be discriminated against by foreign authorities after the country's air safety rating was downgraded by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) late last year.

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) said the immediate impact of the FAA downgrade was expected to be minimal, but things could change if the U.S. move triggered similar audits by other civil aviation authorities.

China, South Korea and Japan all stopped Thai-based airlines from flying charters and new routes because of safety concerns raised by the International Civil Aviation Organization in 2015, which was followed by an FAA downgrade.

"Should they similarly prohibit Malaysian carriers from undertaking new operations to their respective countries, the impact will be greater than the downgrade by the U.S. FAA," MAVCOM said in a statement, referring to China, South Korea and Japan.

"It should be noted that even if there are no official announcements of such restrictions, other civil aviation authorities may implicitly discriminate against Malaysian carriers in their internal decision making."

It said other countries could offer "fewer air traffic rights and unattractive airport slots" to Malaysian airlines.

Malaysia's airline industry is dominated by state-owned Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia Group Bhd and its long-haul arm AirAsia X Bhd.

MAVCOM said it had yet to hear from the three countries about any action they might take.

"If the civil aviation authorities of these countries follow the U.S. FAA's actions, the estimated revenue-at-risk for the Malaysian carriers" is 4 billion ringgit ($966 million), or 24% of their revenue a year, MAVCOM said.

MAVCOM also cast doubt over the Malaysian government's view that it would be able to regain the top FAA category in 12 months, noting that Thailand had yet to restore its rating and the Philippines took six years to return to Category 1 following its own downgrade.

The FAA's safety ratings do not affect existing flights.

(Reporting by Liz Lee; editing by Jane Wardell and David Evans)


ę Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AIRASIA GROUP BERHAD 2.70% 1.14 End-of-day quote.28.81%
AIRASIA X BERHAD 11.76% 0.095 End-of-day quote.26.67%
AT HOME GROUP INC. -0.08% 36.99 End-of-day quote.0.00%
CARDINAL HEALTH, INC. -2.59% 47.44 Delayed Quote.-9.07%
CARDLYTICS, INC. -4.53% 79.32 Delayed Quote.-44.44%
CHANGE INC. -1.63% 2050 End-of-day quote.-41.84%
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Sales 2021 1 433 M 345 M 345 M
Net income 2021 -2 385 M -575 M -575 M
Net Debt 2021 15 031 M 3 621 M 3 621 M
P/E ratio 2021 -1,99x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 4 444 M 1 069 M 1 071 M
EV / Sales 2021 13,6x
EV / Sales 2022 2,43x
Nbr of Employees 21 059
Free-Float 60,7%
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Mean consensus UNDERPERFORM
Number of Analysts 18
Last Close Price 1,14 MYR
Average target price 0,81 MYR
Spread / Average Target -28,7%
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Anthony Francis Fernandes Group CEO & Non-Independent Executive Director
Pattra Boosarawongse Group Chief Financial Officer
Kamarudin bin Meranun Non-Independent Non-Executive Chairman
Kin Choy Lau Group Head-Information & Communication Technology
Nadzri Hashim Head-Engineering
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