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Malaysia Airlines 2007 earnings target raised by 25 pct -JP Morgan

Kuala Lumpur (XFN-ASIA) - JP Morgan said it has raised its

earnings projections for Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) by 25 pct in 2007

and 4 pct in 2008 to factor in expected disposal gains and the company's planned

rights issue.

Following the upgrades, JP Morgan said it has kept its "overweight" call on MAS and its target price of 8.50 rgt, which represents 11 times 2007 earnings.

The investment firm said its new forecasts include a total equity raising of 1.88 bln rgt from the company's planned rights and preference share issues.

The proposals are now subject to shareholder approval on April 23, it noted.

"We expect this total funds to be raised in the second quarter," it said.

The revisions also reflect recent traffic reports, which show a solid performance in international passenger numbers but weakness in the cargo business, said JP Morgan in a note to clients.

"We have also raised our forecast revenues from MAS' third party maintenance business," it added.

At 3.10 pm, MAS was up 0.05 rgt or 0.85 pct at 5.95.