Bursa Malaysia has approved an application AirAsia Group made to extend the deadline of its planned private placement by five months, the group announced in a filing on July 26. It submitted the request on July 19.

AirAsia sought the extension to complete the private placement of the remaining 198.18 million shares it has yet to issue. It intends to raise a total of MYR454.51 million ringgit (USD107.4 million) from the placement to recapitalise.

“On behalf of the board, RHB Investment Bank wishes to announce that Bursa Securities had viewed its letter dated July 26, 2021, resolved to grant AAGB an extension of time from August 2, 2021, up to December 31, 2021, for the company to implement the private placement,” the AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) parent’s brief filing said.

AirAsia Group initially revealed plans for the share issue, representing 20% of its existing share capital, on January 21. On February 3, stock exchange operator Bursa Malaysia Securities told RHB, acting on behalf of the AirAsia Group board, that it had approved the move.

In “the first tranche of the private placement” in February, it raised MYR249.65 million (USD59 million), and in March it raised a further MYR86.82 million (USD20.5 million), making a total of MYR336.47 million (USD79.5 million) so far.

Meanwhile, in related news, South Korean conglomerate SK Group, via its SK South East Asia Investment vehicle, has joined a consortium led by AirAsia’s financial technology unit BigPay in competing for a digital banking licence in Malaysia, local media reported on July 27. The size of the South Korean company’s investment was not disclosed.

Reuters reported earlier this month that more than a dozen bidders involving over 50 global businesses had submitted bids for up to five digital banking licences, which Malaysia’s central bank aims to issue by early 2022. Other “BigPay consortium” members include MIDF, a unit of Malaysia’s biggest state asset manager Permodalan Nasional Berhad, and Singapore-based private equity firm Ikhlas Capital.