Wednesday, 8 July 2015

AirAsia X lodges complaint with SC

According to this article in The Star, AirAsia X has lodged a complaint against GMT Research with the Securities Commission.

First of all, I have to admit that I haven't read the original article by GMT Research (I have read though the freely available articles).

Secondly, filing a complaint with the SC is not akin to suing a company, everybody can file a complaint with either SC or BM.

The article is not very specific about the reasons behind the complaint, only one item is mentioned:

“GMT has accused AAX, among others, of practising or allowing profit shifting between AirAsia Bhd (AAB) and AAX by way of transfer pricing of the service fees and costs charged by AAB,” it said.

A reference is made to article 177 of the CMSA:

In other words, even if what GMT wrote was not correct (I am not sure about that, no concrete example with supporting evidence is given), then still it must be proven that either GMT didn't care that the information was wrong, or that they knew that the information was wrong. Looks to me rather difficult to prove.

For two more links from GMT Research about AirAsia: here and here.

AirAsia and AirAsia X are probably the most hyped companies listed on Bursa, the public is bombarded by PR campaigns on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. Many times "rumours" are picked up by the media, which are then denied a few days later. Twice (free) PR, all very much in the Richard Branson style.

Both AirAsia and AirAsia X have however hugely disappointed in the last few years, despite using very aggressive accounting techniques.

Naturally, that combination will attract critical comments, may be not so much in Malaysia, where the mainstream media seems rather cosy with AirAsia (AirAsia is of course a large advertiser) but more so outside.

It is (at least for me) disappointing when one of the most hyped companies, having one of the worst post IPO performances, can't stand some critical comments.

Especially given the recent events in Malaysia, where "shooting the messenger" is (as always) very widespread.

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