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Malaysia Airlines to be pulled from stock market

Malaysia's state investment fund announced Friday that it plans to take Malaysia Airlines off the stock market in a bid to restructure the troubled airline.

Malaysian state investor Khazanah Nasional, which owns nearly 70% of the airline, said it had submitted a proposal to the airline's board of directors to delist the company.

Under the plan, minority shareholders will be bought out. Shares were suspended.

Khazanah said delisting is the first step in a restructuring process to overhaul Malaysia's national air carrier. The fund said that more details will be announced by the end of the month.

"The proposed restructuring will critically require all parties to work closely together to undertake what will be a complete overhaul," the fund said in a statement.

After taking the business private, management could sell assets such as Firefly, its budget unit.

Malaysia Airlines was in big financial trouble before the twin disasters of Flight 370 and Flight 17 claimed the lives of 537 people.

It hadn't turned a profit in years, efforts to compete with low-cost carriers had failed, and the need for yet another government bailout was growing.

Analysts have long argued that Malaysia Airlines needed to slim down, and drop flashier features of a flag carrier. For example, the airline could operate fewer full-service flights and increase seat counts.

MH17 was shot out of the sky over in July, in territory that's controlled by pro-Russian militants battling the Ukraine government. The United States says a surface-to-air missile took down the plane.

In March, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 239 people on board. No trace of the plane has been found.