AirAsia shares drop after CEO says sorry for backing ex-PM

Shares of regional budget airline AirAsia plunged Monday after its chief Tony Fernandes apologized for supporting defeated Prime Minister Najib Razak in last week that ended with a victory for a four-party alliance led by Mahathir Mohamad.

The upset brought Malaysia's first change of government since gaining independence from Britain in 1957.

Fernandes had praised Najib's coalition and posed with Najib in an AirAsia plane emblazoned with the coalition's campaign slogan ahead of the polls. The crew's signature red uniform was switched to the coalition's deep blue.

Fernandes apologized Sunday for "buckling" under government pressure.

AirAsia stocks fell as much as 10 percent from their last traded price last Tuesday before a four-day market holiday, but recovered some losses by midday Monday. The benchmark index also rebounded after opening lower.