Trading in shares of Kingfisher suspended

Kingfisher Airlines’ passenger jets are seen parked at an airport in New Delhi, in this file picture taken in 2012.

Kingfisher Airlines’ passenger jets are seen parked at an airport in New Delhi, in this file picture taken in 2012.

NEW DELHI: Trading in the shares of bankrupt Kingfisher Airlines will be suspended, India’s two main trading exchanges announced Saturday, putting another nail in the coffin of the carrier founded by self-crowned “King of Good Times” tycoon Vijay Mallya.

The grounded carrier, once India’s second-largest airline by passenger market share, never turned a profit since its launch in 2005, and owners of its planes have taken them back.

The decision to suspend trading in shares of Kingfisher Airlines from Dec. 1 is due to the company’s failure to declare its financial results for two successive financial quarters in March and in June. The exchanges will also suspend trading in the shares of Mallya Group Company UB Engineering Ltd. from Dec. 1, the bourses said.

“Trading in the securities of the companies would be suspended with effect from Dec. 1, 2014 and the suspension will continue till such time the company complies (with financial reporting requirements),” the Bombay Stock Exchange said in a website notice Saturday.

The National Stock Exchange made a similar announcement.

The full-service Kingfisher, which used to boast it treated flyers as “guests”, never returned to the skies after pilots went on strike in 2012 over unpaid wages.

While India’s passenger aviation market is one of world’s fastest-growing, analysts say Kingfisher was a casualty of cut-throat fare wars in the congested sector where most carriers are losing money.

The move by the stock exchanges comes two months after the United Bank of India declared Mallya a “wilful defaulter” over his indebted airline — a term the central bank defines as someone failing to pay debts even when they have the capacity.

Mallya, known for his lavish lifestyle, made his fortune through an inherited beverage business — branching out with the launch of Kingfisher Airlines, named after his company’s popular product that is a household name in India.

Kingfisher shares fell more than 2.5 percent on Friday on the Bombay Stock Exchange to Rs.1.94, down from a peak price in December 2007 of Rs.335.


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