Rabu, 19 Februari 2014

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The Star Online: Business

MAS plans multi-billion dollar aircraft orders in turnaround plan

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 09:21 PM PST

SINGAPORE: Loss-making Malaysia Airlines is waiting for government approval to place multi-billion dollar orders for up to 100 Airbus and Boeing passenger aircraft in a move aimed at boosting its profitability, two people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.

The new aircraft will lower the airline's operating costs by allowing it to retire its older, less fuel-efficient aircraft. That may help it cope with intense competition at home and within South-East Asia, the sources said.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has 88 aircraft in its fleet, including Airbus A330s and A380s, and Boeing 777-200s and 737s, according to its website.

It plans to initially order around 30 widebody aircraft, including Airbus A330s and A350-900s, to replace its older Airbus A330s and Boeing 777-200s over this decade. It could also order either the Boeing 787-10 or the Airbus A350-1000 for its fleet beyond 2020, one of the people said.

MAS is keen to begin taking delivery of some aircraft from 2016, which means that it could meet part of it requirements from leasing companies, the sources said.

While the airline considered adding one or two more A380s to the six in its fleet, it has decided that twin-engined widebody aircraft are its priority.

MAS, which operates Boeing 737-800s for its short haul and regional services, is also looking at an order for the 737 Max to replace the older planes in its fleet.

A Malaysia Airlines spokesman was not immediately available for comment and the people familiar with the order declined to be named as the details were confidential.


The airline believes the fuel efficiency and lower maintenance requirements of the new aircraft will help it cut costs. It will also be able to fly more passengers and reach new destinations with the planes, potentially raising revenues.

On Tuesday, the airline reported a net loss of RM343.4mil (US$104.23mil) in the October-December 2013 period, its fourth consecutive quarterly loss. Its full year losses were nearly three times higher than in 2012 at RM1.17bil.

"Malaysia Airlines expects the business environment to remain challenging with high fuel prices, volatile foreign exchange and intense competition impacting yield from both existing as well as new entrants into the market," the airline said in a statement.

"The significant increase in capacity, especially the continued expansion of Middle Eastern and European carriers into our region, is adding further competition to the already crowded marketplace."

The airline faces stiff competition at home from low-cost carrier AirAsia on the short-haul and domestic segments, and from AirAsia X in the medium and long-haul market.

The entry last year of Malindo, a full-service airline that is partly owned by Indonesia's Lion Air, sent yields sharply lower in 2013 as both MAS and AirAsia slashed fares to keep their market share.

MAS is also trying to keep up with other South-East Asian full-service carriers in the highly competitive medium and long-haul markets, while Gulf carriers like Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways are also eating into its market on services to Europe and Australia.

Regional rivals like Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways have also ordered new generation widebody aircraft such as the A350 and 787. Garuda Indonesia is set to also choose between those two aircraft – or possibly pick both – for its fleet. – Reuters

Australia's SeekAsia buying JobStreet's business for RM1.73b (Update)

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 09:04 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Australia's SeekAsia Ltd has launched a takeover offer for the entire online employment businesses of JobStreet Corporation Bhd in a RM1.73bil deal.

It told the Australian Stock Exchange on Wednesday the JobStreet has a strong financial track record with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) compounded annual growth rate of 18% (FY09 to FY13) and generates EBITDA margins of 48% (Q3 CY13).

"This acquisition is a continuation of SEEK's expansion in the strategic and high growth Asian region," it said. However, the acquisition was subject to regulatory approval in Singapore & Jobstreet shareholder approval.

SeekAsia said the combination of JobStreet and JobsDB "will unlock large growth opportunities".

It explained the attractive "blended" valuation was based on standalone earnings profile & combined growth opportunities; ability to access debt in SEEK Asia to reduce funding task and historic cost of SEEK's investment in JobStreet.

"SEEK's consideration is A$374mil made up of existing JobStreet equity of A$113mil and cash of A$261mil. SEEK Asia co-investors, Newscorp & Tiger Global are collectively contributing A$83mil.

Seek Asia said the settlement was expected in the fourth quarter of  FY14.

CIMB and Goldman Sachs are acting as financial advisors, Baker & McKenzie and SBA Law are acting as legal advisors and PriceWaterhouseCoopers is acting as accounting and tax advisor to SeekAsia.

Vehicle sales down 8.7% in January

Posted: 19 Feb 2014 12:24 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia recorded an 8.7% decline in total vehicle sales to 50,273 units in January from 55,066 vehicles a year ago and the trade body is expecting sales to be maintained at the same level in February.

The Malaysian Automotive Association said on Wednesday that of the 50,273 units sold in January, 44,702 were passenger vehicles and the remaining 5,571 commercial vehicles.

MAA said the sales volume in January was also lower than December 2013 by 17%.

"Heavy discounting by car companies given out in December 2013 resulted in many booking concluded in December 2013 itself," it said.

On the outlook for February, it said the sales volume was expected to be maintained at the January level because of the short working month due to the Chinese New Year holidays.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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