MAHB down 2.59% following attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 29): Shares of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) declined as much as 2.59% following the suicide bomb attack at Turkey's main international airport, Ataturk Airport, yesterday (June 28).

At 10.30am, the stock fell as much as 16 sen to RM6.18, before paring losses to trade at RM6.20.

A total of 495,300 shares changed hands.

The stock has been on a steady increase since Aug 27 last year, rising from RM4.19, amidst volatile trading.

Year to date, the stock has risen 11.84%, outperforming the FBM KLCI, which has declined 3.45%.

It should be noted that MAHB operates the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGIA) in Istanbul, Turkey, while Ataturk Airport is operated by TAV Airports Holding.

Yesterday, three suicide bombers staged an attack near security checkpoints at the entrance to Ataturk Airport's arrival halls.

According to Bloomberg, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said early investigations indicated that militant group Islamic State was behind the attack, which killed at least 36 people and injured 147 people.

In a comment to clients today, MIDF Research head Zulkifli Hamzah said as incoming flights to Ataturk Airport may be closed until order resumes, flights could be diverted to MAHB's ISGIA, causing a temporary rise in passenger movements.

However, the ramifications of the attack could impact short-term sentiment and result in travel advisories on Turkey, which might hinder tourist arrivals.

"Recall that ISGIA already experienced its traffic growth halving to 10% from 20% in April to May," he said.

"We are watching closely monthly pax figures for ISGIA and could lower our forecasts for the fully owned subsidiary should weakness persist and do not show signs of improving," he added.