JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Shares in flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia plunged in their first day of trading after a $370 million initial public offering. Officials insisted limp global markets were to blame.
The airline’s shares dropped 21 percent to 590 rupiah (6.6 cents) within minutes of the start of trading Friday, but bounced back to 640 rupiah by midday.
Minister of State Enterprises Mustafa Abubakar said Garuda management was optimistic the value of the shares would increase in coming months.
He said the decline Friday reflected sagging global and regional stock markets.
Garuda received 3.3 trillion rupiahs ($370 million) from its IPO by selling shares at 750 rupiah each.
Garuda plans to buy new planes, reduce debt and recruit new pilots.
Indonesia, a nation of more than 18,000 islands, has seen a string of air crashes in recent years prompting the European Union in 2007 to ban all of the country’s carriers from landing in the bloc.
The ban for Garuda was lifted in 2009 and it has since resumed flights to the Netherlands.