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Malaysia Airlines shares hit record low after jet disappearance

Malaysia Airline passenger jet parked on the tarmac at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Getty Images
Malaysia Airline passenger jet parked on the tarmac at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Shares of Malaysian Airline System (MAS) hit a record low on Monday after a Boeing 777 operated by the airline went missing over the weekend.

Shares in the ailing national airline fell almost 18 percent at the open, but regained some ground to be at 23 sen per share at 0123 GMT.

MAS posted a net loss of 1.17 billion ringgit in 2013 and could face damage to its reputation and a loss in bookings due to the missing airline, despite the carrier's good safety record.

(Read more: Search for missing Malaysia jet enters third day)

MAS, which counts state investor Khazanah as one of its major shareholders, is Malaysia's second largest airline by market value, trailing only budget carrier AirAsia.

The Boeing 777, carrying 239 people, disappeared on Saturday from radar, less than one hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing, China.

Officials investigating the disappearance of the airliner are narrowing the focus of their inquiries on the possibility that it disintegrated mid-flight, a senior source said on Sunday.

More than 48 hours after contact was lost there was still no sign of the aircraft and no wreckage had been found.

(Read more: Possible part of missing jet found, Vietnam says)

A Vietnamese navy plane spotted an object suspected of belonging to the airliners late Sunday, but it was too dark to be certain the object is part of plane. More aircraft will be dispatched to the area on Monday morning.

Malaysia Airports Holdings, the operator of Kuala Lumpur International Airport where the Boeing 777 last took off, saw its shares fell 2.39 percent to 8.18 ringgit a share.

Shares of AirAsia dropped 1.19 percent to 2.49 ringgit per share at 0104 GMT, while long haul budget airline suffered 0.62 percent drop to 80 sen.

Malaysia's benchmark index declined 0.61 percent.

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