AirAsia shares fall 2.66pc in early trade

As at 11.40am, AirAsia shed three sen to RM1.10, with 35.63 million shares changing hands. — AFP pic
As at 11.40am, AirAsia shed three sen to RM1.10, with 35.63 million shares changing hands. — AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 ― AirAsia Group Bhd's shares fell 2.66 per cent in the early trade after reporting weak financial performance for the year ended Dec 31, 2020 (FY20).

As at 11.40am, the low-cost carrier shed three sen to RM1.10, with 35.63 million shares changing hands.

AirAsia’s net loss widened to RM5.10 billion in FY20 from RM315.81 million in the preceding year, while revenue also fell to RM3.14 billion from RM11.86 billion previously, amid the unprecedented worldwide travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kenanga Research said AirAsia’s financial results came in below its expectations due to lower-than-expected passengers carried amid sharply reduced capacity.

However, the research firm raised its target price for the stock to RM0.70 per share from RM0.38 per share.

Moving forward, Kenanga Research expects AirAsia to face a tough operating environment over the next two to three quarters, derailed by the still widespread travel disruptions due to the pandemic.

“However, the availability of vaccines has renewed optimism for air travel returning to normal sooner than expected. The group had completed two tranches of private placement in the first quarter of this year, raising RM336 million,” it said in a note today.

Kenanga Research said the private placement was part of AirAsia’s plans to raise between RM2.0 billion and RM2.5 billion in a combination of debt and equity funding to ensure sufficient liquidity for the group.

The low-cost carrier has also secured commitments from banks for government guarantee loan under the Danajamin Prihatin Guarantee Scheme and is in the final stages of terms discussion and finalisation.

“In addition, AirAsia has ongoing deliberations with a number of parties for joint-ventures and collaborations that may result in additional third-party investments in specific segments of the group's business,” said Kenanga Research. ― Bernama

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