By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways (HK:0293) has lodged a prospectus for a HK$11.7 billion ($1.5094 billion) rights issue with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE).
The issuance is part of a $5 billion bailout from Hong Kong’s government and shareholders, with Cathay likely to tap the equity and debt capital markets further to strengthen its balance sheet.
The issuance also comes ahead of Cathay’s announcement during the previous week that it expects to post a HK$9.9 billion ($1.277 billion) loss for the first six months of 2020, with global air travel slashed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The airline added on Wednesday that it reduced its monthly cash burn to HK$1.5 billion from HK$2.5 billion to $3 billion and continues to maintain minimal numbers of flights. But with COVID-19 continuing its rampage globally and uncertainty on when air travel will recover to pre-COVID-19 levels, Cathay warned that its full-year results could be “materially worse.”
The prospectus also said that Cathay would delay the delivery of airplanes due to be delivered by Airbus between 2020 and 2021, which will now be delivered between 2020 and 2025. It is also in advanced talks with Boeing (NYSE:BA) to defer its 777-9 orders.
Although no further details were given as to how many deliveries are now expected per year, a November 2019 investor presentation said that Cathay was expecting delivery of 32 A321neos, 12 A350s and 21 777-9s by 2024.
“This deferral of deliveries is expected to produce cash savings to the Cathay Pacific Group in the short to medium term, "according to the prospectus.
Cathay’s stock was up 0.52% to HK$5.85 ($0.7547) by 12:34 AM ET (5:34 AM GMT).