(Adds more comments, adds share price move)
* MAS shares fall to one-month low in heavy trade
* Airline hit by disaster months after MH370 goes missing
By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah and Yantoultra Ngui
KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 Malaysian Airlines System
Bhd (MAS) shares fell sharply on Friday after one of
its planes was downed over Ukraine, putting more pressure on a
carrier still reeling from the disappearance of Flight MH370 in
The airlines' Flight MH17, bound for Kuala Lumpur from
Amsterdam, was downed over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing
all 298 people on board.
The crash comes after Flight MH370 went missing on a flight
from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers, many of them
Chinese, and crew on board.
Shares of MAS, the most heavily traded stock on Friday, fell
to a one-month low of 18.8 sen in morning trade, but then pared
losses to 20.5 sen, down 11.1 percent from Thursday's close. The
benchmark Kuala Lumpur stock market index was trading down 0.5
MAS did not immediately respond to calls or emails seeking
"Sentiment was already negative, and this just makes it
worse," said an analyst with AmResearch.
"There was a lot of anti-Malaysia sentiment in China after
MH370. We have to see if this situation will have the same
effect and lead to a heavy sell-down," he said.
Hit by slumping ticket sales after the disappearance of
MH370, MAS turned in its worst quarterly performance in two
years in January-March.
Malaysian state investor Khazanah Nasional Bhd
plans to take MAS private as the first step in a major
restructuring of the airline, two people with direct knowledge
of the matter told Reuters earlier this month.
"I'm convinced that there will be support from the
management to restore some kind of credibility to the airline,"
said Bertrand Grabowski, DVB Bank's managing director in charge
(Additional reporting by Caroline Ng and Anshuman Daga in
SINGAPORE; Editing by Miral Fahmy)