KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 — The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) dumped close to eight million of its shares in AirAsia Group Berhad just days before news reports emerged implicating the local budget carrier in a bribery allegation involving French plane maker Airbus.

Bursa Malaysia announced the shares disposal in two separate filings on January 31 and February 3.

The first notice, involving the disposal of 7,437,400 worth of normal shares, was filed on January 29. A day later, the pension fund then disposed of 492,500 worth of additional shares.

The EPF, which oversees RM1 trillion worth of assets, now holds a 6.29 per cent stake in the company. It retains 210.4 million shares after the disposal.


EPF could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office announced last Friday that Airbus had entered a Deferred Prosecution Agreement over a corruption case involving a 2012 sponsorship deal between the now-defunct racing team and Airbus’ then parent company, EADS.

The same UK authority also named executives from AirAsia and its sister company AirAsia X as parties who allegedly received US$50 million in bribes from Airbus, purportedly as part of a deal to buy 180 planes, according to news reports.


British prosecutors claimed Airbus had paid the sum to sponsor a sports team jointly owned by two unnamed executives.

Airbus employees were also said to have tried to bribe the AirAsia and AirAsia X’s directors and/or employees with an additional US$55 million, according to court documents that outlined the allegation.

AirAsia Group Bhd has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. Its founders Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said they were “shocked” by the allegations.

Both the men announced they were relinquishing their positions yesterday.