by NG MIN SHEN
AirAsia Bhd is on track to list its Indonesia and Philippines affiliates, with targeted listing set for year-end or the first-quarter of 2018 (1Q18).
Group CEO Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes said the company’s plans to list PT Indonesia AirAsia and Philippines AirAsia Inc are “very much in progress”, with Indonesia slightly ahead of the Philippines.
“Listing both gives us the currency to look at combining into One AirAsia, which is my ultimate dream. The listing should happen within this year or 1Q18,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Invest Malaysia 2017 conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Fernandes said AirAsia takes a long-term view, with its investments aimed at longterm value rather than short-term gains.
“While the market was telling us to close down Indonesia and the Philippines, we saw great value in them. Now both are going to be very, very valuable going forward,” he added.
Fernandes also believes the company will be gaining some high returns through the disposal of investments, including its leasing unit Asia Aviation Capital Ltd (AAC).
“We’re looking to dispose of a few investments that we’ve made. On our leasing business — we maintain our position that we’re going to sell it. We’re going to make sure we have the best price.”
Fernandes said the company will not be pressed into hurrying anything, to ensure AirAsia will not be burdened with a lot of extra cost after selling it.
Thus, the company will be taking its time to secure the best deal, although it is currently still working out the final details.
“We’re taking our time to ensure we have the best deal and we’re confident it will be done this year,” Fernandes stated, adding that a public listing is not in the plans for AAC.
Reports have named a party from South Korea as a possible buyer of AAC, with talks pointing to Korea Transportation Asset Management Co Ltd as being in advanced discussions to acquire a stake in AAC.
The budget airline is also looking at selling some of its assets that do not provide market value.
“The market doesn’t give us value for holding these investments, so we might as well sell them and pay out a dividend.
“For example, we benefit from low cost at our training centre. But we might as well monetise it because the stock market isn’t giving us any value for holding 50% in the training company, though we will maintain the relationship through a long-term contract,” Fernandes said.