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AirAsia Group wins approval for $120m government-backed loan

Malaysia's airline to raise 1bn ringgit from rights issue this year to weather pandemic

Malaysia's AirAsia Group has received approval from Danajamin Nasional Berhad for a club facility of up to 500 million ringgit ($120 million).   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -- Malaysia's AirAsia Group has received approval from Danajamin Nasional Berhad for a club facility of up to 500 million ringgit ($120 million), it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The loan, 80% of which is guaranteed by the government, is earmarked for working capital purposes, which will support staff costs and key operating expenses such as aircraft maintenance as the group prepares to ramp up operations, it said.

The loan, disbursed as part of a COVID-19 economic stimulus package from the government, has been approved by the airline's lenders under a club deal term financing, it said.

Danajamin Nasional, the country's only financial guarantee insurer, is half-owned by the finance ministry.

Malaysia is looking at allowing interstate domestic travel and international travel for its citizens when 90% of its adult population is fully vaccinated. The rate stood at 88% on Monday.

AirAsia has been seeking up to 2.5 billion ringgit to weather the pandemic-induced slump in global travel, initially aiming to secure the funds by the end of last year.

The group plans to raise up to 1 billion ringgit through a rights issue by the end of this year.

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