KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 22): Khazanah Nasional Bhd has shortlisted four investors to be the strategic partner in Malaysia Airlines Bhd, according to Minister of Economic Affairs Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
"Khazanah and Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd (MAG) had invited 20 potential investors in August 2019 to be Malaysia Airlines' strategic partner. Through this process, Khazanah and MAG has in September shortlisted four strategic investors to be further evaluated. Our focus is on proposals with prudent financial management and operation synergy in Malaysia Airlines," he told Dewan Rakyat today.
"We expect after further evaluation is done, presentation to Khazanah's board of directors will be done in November, and a decision will be made by end of this year, or early next year," he said.
Mohamed Azmin said under the non-disclosure agreement, the government is not able to share further details on these strategic investors.
"For the time being, Malaysia Airlines is strengthening its operations and internal management through cost-cutting efforts, improving its services and enhancing code sharing agreements to face challenges in the aviation industry," he said.
Mohamed Azmin was responding to Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi [GPS- Kapit], who asked the government to state whether it is true that Japan is planning to take over Malaysia's national airline, and if so, to state Japan's approach in making the offer and the decision-making process after that.
In his follow-up question, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed [PH-Jeli] asked whether the government would maintain a golden share in Malaysia Airlines, and whether there are any local airlines among the four shortlisted strategic investors.
Mohamed Azmin said while the new shareholding structure in Malaysia Airlines has not been finalised, the government will maintain an "important stake" under the new structure.
"The government will ensure that through Khazanah, we will still have (an) important stake and influence in the new structure, although we have not finalised the new structure because we are still reviewing them.
"There are strategic investors [which] want to control majority of shares, some think that Khazanah should remain majority shareholder, we take all of these into consideration in the new structure," he said.