Thai Airways trims early losses as rights issue pricing comes in below expectation

Thai Airways has priced its rights issue at THB31 apiece, slightly below market expectations of THB34-35 per share. The carrier aims to raise THB15 billion (USD486 million) to help fund fleet renewal and expansion plans.

Thai will offer 483.89 million shares (including 246.93 million to the Ministry of Finance), as well as 221.8 million shares to other existing shareholders and 15.1 million to retail investors.

The stock dipped as much as 7% in early trade, but closed down just 0.7%

Thai Airways chairman, Ampon Kittiampon, stated: “The price of the new shares is appropriate, in line with investor demand and current market conditions. Our aim is to make Thai Air one of the three leading Asian airlines and be in the world’s top five soon.” He added, “We expect that the shares will be fully subscribed … Our roadshow got a positive response.”

The move will reduce Thai Airways' debt to equity ratio from 2.17 times at 30-Jun-2010 to roughly 1.7. The subscription period is 16/17-Sep-2010, with a final announcement on the allocation due by 22-Sep-2010.

Elsewhere in the region, China Airlines advanced 4.2% on Wednesday, while China Southern and China Eastern extended Tuesday’s gains.

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 15-Sep-2010