The securities regulator in Malaysia said that it will examine the accusation by the UK prosecutors that the executives in AirAsia Group and unit AirAsia X broke security laws by receiving bribes from Airbus for buying planes.
Prosecutors say that Airbus has bribed public officials and hid the payments. The accusations came to light after Airbus agreed to a record settlement of $4 billion with France, Britain and the United States. This is being seen as a pattern of a worldwide corruption scandal.
Between October 2013 and January 2015, EADS Airbus's then-parent company paid $50 million for the sponsorship of a team that was jointly owned by two people described as AirAsia Executive 1 and Executive 2, says Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Executives received rewards
The SFO said the executives were rewarded for an aircraft order from Airbus, an allegation AirAsia denied late on Saturday. "The Securities Commission Malaysia will examine the allegations and review all available evidence to determine if there is any breach of securities laws," Syed Zaid Albar, the regulator's chairman, said in a statement.
Directors who act with the intent to cause wrongful loss to their listed firms can face jail or fines, he said. Malaysia's anti-graft agency has already launched a separate investigation into the allegations.
AirAsia said in its Saturday statement that it had not been involved with the SFO's investigation of Airbus or given any opportunity to provide clarification. It denied any wrongdoing. Reached for comment by Reuters on Sunday, the company pointed to the statement that said it would fully cooperate with "relevant authorities where required". Airbus said it had no comment. AirAsia, Asia's largest budget airline group, runs an all-Airbus fleet of 274 planes.
(With inputs from agency)