Khazanah planning to delist loss-making MAS, say sources

Khazanah planning to delist loss-making MAS, say sources

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA'S state investor, Khazanah Nasional, plans to take Malaysian Airline System (MAS) private, as the first step in a major restructuring of the loss-making airline following the disappearance of its Flight MH370, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

A delisting would pave the way for Khazanah to revive the ailing carrier, possibly by selling off its profitable engineering, airport services or budget-airline units, trimming its bloated payroll and installing a new management team.

Shares of MAS rose as much as 16.7 per cent in Kuala Lumpur trading yesterday, the biggest jump in over two weeks. At the close, the shares were at 23 sen, up 9.52 per cent.

The restructuring and potential sale are politically fraught due to heavy opposition to job losses from its powerful labour union, and its status as Malaysia's national flag-carrier.

Taking MAS private could enable Khazanah to restructure it with little interference from shareholders and the airline union, analysts say.

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