Malaysia Airports falls 12% after govt proposed airport REIT

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 5): Shares in Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) lost as much as 99 sen or 12% to RM7.26 so far today after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced during Malaysia's Budget 2019 tabling on Friday the government intends to set up the world's first "airport real estate investment trust (REIT)".

"The investors of the airport REIT will receive income arising from user fees collected from MAHB which has the concession to operate these airports," Lim said.

At Bursa Malaysia today, KLCI-linked MAHB shares were transacted at RM7.52 at 10:28am among the largest decliners on the stock exchange. Some 1.53 million shares were traded.

Analysts said the federal government's proposed airport REIT may be neutral for MAHB in the near term.

The Edge Financial Daily, quoting CIMB Research, reported today that for now, there is no immediate impact on MAHB as the only change is in who receives the user fees from MAHB.

"It is important to note that the government's proposed airport REIT will not benefit MAHB's shareholders, but neither will it change the economic value of MAHB in any way," CIMB said.