Asia’s largest budget airline, AirAsia, is considering listing in London or Hong Kong to tap a wider pool of foreign investors, The Edge Daily reported, citing sources. AirAsia has been listed in Malaysia since November 2004, but has only one locally listed peer, Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS), and its investor base is far more international than the wider market, according to the report.
The report said many investors want to help fund the development of budget airlines in Asia, but demand a risk premium for Malaysia because stocks are traded in ringgit, which is not a globally traded currency. The local market is also not very liquid.
‘They are exploring the possibility of a secondary listing in order to tap foreign-based shareholders and also for compliance with international accounting standards,’ a source was quoted as saying.