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SIA to tap existing investors for $10.5bn to offset coronavirus shock

Press Trust of India  |  Singapore 

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is tapping existing investors for up to SGD15 billion (US$10.48 billion) through the sale of shares and convertible bonds to offset the shock to its business from the coronavirus outbreak.

The fund raising is being underwritten by the airline's biggest investor, Temasek Holdings, a state-investment group which owns about 55 per cent of the group.

This is an exceptional time for the SIA Group," Channel Asia reported Friday citing SIA chairman Peter Seah's statement issued late on Thursday.

SIA's shares went into a rare trading halt earlier in the day after plunging to their lowest in 22 years as investors feared the COVID-19 pandemic will have a deep impact on the company.

SIA has said it will cut capacity by 96 per cent, ground almost its entire fleet and impose cost cuts affecting about 10,000 staff in what it called the "greatest challenge" it had ever faced.

The airline said it would issue SGD5.3 billion in new shares to current shareholders and also issue 10-year bonds to raise up to a further SGD9.7 billion.

In addition, it has arranged a SGD4 billion bridge loan facility with DBS Bank to support the company's near-term liquidity requirements.

The rights issue will be offered at SGD3 per share, a 53.8 per cent discount to SIA's last traded price of SGD6.5.

"This transaction will not only tide SIA over a short-term financial liquidity challenge, but will position it for growth beyond the pandemic," the Channel quoted Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, CEO of Temasek International, as saying.

SIA said it would use the funding from the rights issues to beef up its capital and operational expenditure needs.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 27 2020. 11:36 IST