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Tycoons increase stakes in AirAsia

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KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd’s group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and deputy group chief executive officer Datuk Kamarudin Meranun have increased their stakes in the low-cost carrier over the past few days, according to reports to the stock exchange.

They have increased their combined stakes in the company by a nett 0.86% over the past three days, filings with the stock exchange showed. They now own a combined deemed interest of close to 24% in AirAsia.

On another development, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) board had also increased its stakes in AirAsia by acquiring about 450,000 shares. The EPF board now holds total direct and indirect stakes of almost 10% in AirAsia.

The company’s shares rose by 10 sen yesterday and the stock was the second most actively traded .

AirAsia shares had experienced some sell-down recently on concerns of intensifying competition domestically and regionally. The market had also been concerned that Malindo Airways, which was launched earlier in the month, would give AirAsia solid competition.

Market dealers said that the move to increase stakes by AirAsia’s key directors showed that they were committed to the business despite the impending competition from Malindo. – The Star