Malaysia Airlines Agrees to Sell Headquarters for Cash

Malaysia Airlines said Wednesday it has agreed to sell its office headquarters for 130 million ringgit (US$36 million; euro29 million) to raise cash and bolster the loss-stricken carrier's finances.

The 35-story building, known as Bangunan MAS, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's largest city, will be sold to state-owned fund management firm Permodalan Nasional Bhd., Malaysia Airline System Bhd. said in a statement to the stock exchange.

The net book value of the airline and ticketing business headquarters was 81.2 million ringgit (US$23 million; euro18 million) at the end of December 2005, the statement said.

On completion of the sale, Malaysia Airlines said it expects to realize a gain of 46 million ringgit (US$12.8 million; euro10.2 million). The carrier has said it needs some 4 billion ringgit (US$1.1 billion; euro875 million) cash to restructure and return the company to profitability.

The airline reported a loss of 1.3 billion ringgit (US$362 million; euro288 million) for its financial year ended December 2005 and wants to turn around in 2007 with a projected 50 million ringgit (US$14 million; euro11 million) net profit.

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