AirAsia plans IPO of Asean Holding Co

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes says the listing will create a single economic vehicle to allow analysts and investors see the group as a whole and not just the Malaysian operation with one line of associates.

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd aims to undertake an initial public offering (IPO) of its Asean Holding Co, which will consist of all the operations in the region as the low-cost airline eyes a bigger investor base.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes told CNBC there was tremendous interests in its stock, and work towards the IPO had started.

He said the listing of the Asean Holding Co would create a single economic vehicle which would allow analysts and investors to see the group as a whole and not just the Malaysian operation with one line of associates.

However, he said, the plan was to list AirAsia Indonesia and Philippines first within the first half of next year before getting the Asean Holding Co listed.

“That would mean all the Asean associates of AirAsia will be listed. Then, we would like to take it a step further and create the Asean Holding Co and allow us to be one economic vehicle,” Fernandes told the news channel earlier today.

He said there would be a lot of regulations to go through.

“Lots of regulatory hurdles, but you know we have been always the first to try something, and the initial response we got from leaders and regulators has been positive,” he said.

On why he picked Hong Kong for the listing, he said the airline had received tremendous response from North Asia.

“Obviously China, Hong Kong, China Taiwan and South Korea make up a large part of our business. We had tremendous investor interest in our stock,” he said.

However, he said, whether the company would put up the whole holding company, would be a separate question.

“But certainly a dual listing. We want to get a bigger investor base,” he said.

He also dismissed concerns that various listings would result in brand dilution, saying that it would only make the airline stronger.

Source : Free Malaysia Today

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