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Air Asia chief eyes regionally listed holding company

/ 12:09 AM February 28, 2017

The head of Malaysia’s Air Asia Berhad, the region’s biggest budget airline, wants to combine its entire Southeast Asian airline group under a single publicly traded holding company, its top official said Monday.

Air Asia Group CEO and Malaysian tycoon Tony Fernandes revealed this plan as he called for closer coordination among stock trading bourse within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

“Now that all our Asean airlines are on stable footing we want to further our plans to combine our Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines operations under a single, listed Asean holding company,” Fernandes said in a statement announcing the group’s full-year 2016 results.

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“We are urging Asean governments to relax ownership restrictions and consider Asean investors as equivalent to local investors,” he added.

Air Asia operates in the country under the Philippines Air Asia brand.

The plan to establish a regional, listed holding company was a long-term plan and would not affect Philippines Air Asia’s own plan to go public, Philippines Air Asia chair Marianne Hontiveros said in a text message Monday.

“We will still list PAA (Philippines Air Asia). The vision is toward a single Asean airline but this will take time to get approvals from the individual countries/ governments,” she said. “This is in line with the Asean Single Aviation Market.”

Fernandes said in an interview last year that Philippines Air Asia could raise more than $200 million via a public listing exercise within 2017.

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TAGS: Air Asia, Business, economy, News, Tony Fernandes
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