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MAS shares suspended pending “material announcement”

The shares of Malaysian Airlines (MAS) have been suspended from trading on Friday 8 August.

In a brief announcement on Bursa Malaysia, the carrier says the shares have been suspended “pending a material announcement.”

Persistent media reports from Malaysia indicate that MAS's 69.4% shareholder – state investment firm Khazanah Nasional – is looking at options to try and turn the struggling carrier around.

The carrier suffered an operating loss of MYR439 million ($136 million) for its fiscal first quarter ended 31 March.

This result, 58% worse than the previous corresponding period, partially reflected the impact of the loss of MH370 in early March. Prior to MH370, MAS has also been loss-making for several years.

As the MH370 story began to die down, reports emerged that Khazanah was looking at its options for the struggling carrier, which has suffered at the hands of local low-cost rival AirAsia, as well as competition from Middle Eastern carriers. A falling local currency also hurt MAS.

Then, on 17 July, another Boeing 777-200ER was lost, when flight MH17 was shot down over Eastern Ukraine.

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