The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times

BEIJING — Saying Malaysia Airlines needs a “complete overhaul” following two devastating air disasters, the Malaysian government’s strategic investment fund on Friday proposed buying out the approximately 30 percent of the carrier’s shares it does not own and delisting it as a publicly traded company.

“The proposed restructuring will critically require all parties to work closely together to undertake what will be a complete overhaul of the national carrier on all relevant aspects of … the airline’s operations, business model, finances, human capital, and regulatory environment,” the fund, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, said in a statement.

“Nothing less will be required in order to revive our national airline to be profitable as a commercial entity and to serve its function as a critical national development entity.”

Khazanah said it was offering more than $400 million for the stock it does not hold, paying shareholders a 12.5 percent premium over Thursday’s closing price.

Trading of the airline’s shares was suspended Friday in Kuala Lumpur, but no immediate changes to the airline’s operations were announced. The airline has about 360 flights per day to 60 destinations, with a capacity for about 50,000 passengers.

Even before the disappearance of Flight 370 in March and the downing of Flight 17 over strife-torn Ukraine last month, the carrier had been losing money, and the twin losses severely exacerbated its financial problems and its stock has plunged.

Khazanah’s managers said the proposed delisting of Malaysia Airlines shares represented “the first stage” of the restructuring program and that the fund was in the final stages of completing the overall restructuring proposal. More detailed plans are expected to be released at the end of August, pending approvals from government regulators and the Ministry of Finance.

Flight 370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard, and five months later, no wreckage from the Boeing 777 has yet been found.

Vessels from Australia, Malaysia, and China are continuing to survey a swath of the southern Indian Ocean floor in preparation for a deep-sea search, which is expected to begin in September.

Meanwhile, efforts to recover evidence and remains from the Flight 17 crash site in eastern Ukraine remain incomplete as fighting in the area between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces is continuing.

All 298 people aboard the Boeing 777 died when the aircraft bound from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur went down on July 17; so far, about 228 coffins have been returned to the Netherlands. The majority of those on board were Dutch.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte this week said the search was being suspended as conditions in the area had become too dangerous.

AFP Photo/Manan Vatsyayana

Interested in world news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Sen. Susan Collins

Youtube Screenshot

How thin can one person’s skin possibly be? Sen. Susan Collins tested the limits of that question with her response to a sidewalk chalk message asking her to vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act, codifying the abortion rights of Roe v. Wade into law.

“Susie, please, Mainers want WHPA —–> vote yes, clean up your mess,” the chalk message outside Collins’ home in Bangor, Maine, read. They said please, in a medium that causes no damage, and she called the police.

Keep reading... Show less

Jim Lamon

Youtube Screenshot

.Arizona Republican Senate candidate Jim Lamon has repeatedly said he wants to save and preserve Social Security. But his own campaign website reveals that he aims to raise the program's eligibility age and to privatize it, leaving millions of Americans to fend for themselves.

In a video message on his website, Lamon claims, "Social Security is headed for a train wreck, for bankruptcy. Politicians who kick the can down the road, we must save Social Security. I intend to be bold in the U.S. Senate to make it happen."

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}