AirAsia active, up 2.95% on news of US$23b jet sale by Airbus

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 16): Shares of AirAsia Group Bhd rose as much as 2.62% in this morning trade amid news Airbus SE is closing in on a deal worth US$23 billion with the budget carrier, hinting the latter is expanding its fleet.

At 11.30am, AirAsia rose nine sen or 2.95% to RM3.14, with 4.5 million shares traded, giving it a market capitalisation of RM10.39 billion.

Over the past 12 months, the counter has gained about 9.65%.

According to Bloomberg, the European aircraft manufacturer is working on a blockbuster agreement to sell U$23 billion worth of aircraft to AirAsia, the continent’s biggest budget carrier, said the people who asked not to be identified as discussing private talks.

The AirAsia orders are still subject to final negotiations, the people said.

“While no deal has been reached, the sides are close enough that at least part of the sale could be announced during the Farnborough Air Show outside London, the industry’s largest trade expo this year," the people said.

It is notable that AirAsia, already the second-biggest customer for Airbus’s re-engined A320 narrowbody, is weighing an order for as many as 100 A321neos, according to people familiar with the discussions.

AirAsia is simultaneously close to agreeing to order an additional 34 A330neo widebodies, which would bring its total backlog for that aircraft to 100.