KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — Malaysia Airline System Bhd (MAS) is close to securing a RM1.5 billion bridging loan from CIMB Group Holdings Bhd (CIMB), which sources say will be used to finance daily operations.
According to a report by the Edge Financial Daily, three sources were quoted as saying that the bridging loan would give MAS ample time to structure a RM3 billion bond for its long-term needs.
“This would give MAS some time to structure the bonds,” said one of the sources.
The sources told the business paper that CIMB could be the frontrunner for the RM3 billion sukuk offering, since it has provided the bridging loan to MAS.
The national carrier is looking to issue RM3 billion worth of bonds this year in order to bridge the funding gap for its capital requirement of RM6 billion.
MAS needs RM6 billion to finance its new fleet, which includes the Airbus A380, Boeing B777 and B737 aircraft.
Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad had entered into a share-swap deal with AirAsia boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes in an effort to turn around the national carrier, which lost RM2.52 billion last year.
But the share-swap signed last August faced fierce opposition from some politicians and the flag carrier’s unions, which represent the majority of the 20,000-strong airline staff, pushing the government to abort the deal on May 2.