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Hong Kong budget carrier Oasis sells stake to asset manager for 30 mln usd


Hong Kong (XFN-ASIA) - Hong Kong budget carrier Oasis Airlines

said it has sold a stake to a local asset management firm for 30 mln usd, with

the funds to be used to buy aircraft and expand routes.

The airline, which specializes in direct, long-haul flights, said Value Partners will be taking a stake of 5-10 pct and the money will be used partly to buy 14 used Boeing aircraft for a proposed eight routes by 2011.

It currently operates three planes with another due by the end of the year and a fifth in early 2008.

"Our agreement enables Oasis to further strengthen Hong Kong's leading position as an international hub, while tapping the enormous growth in the Chinese market," Oasis chairman Raymond Lee said.

Oasis, which currently flies direct to London and Vancouver, has been granted licenses to fly to San Francisco, Chicago, Cologne, Berlin, Milan and Sydney. A new route will be launched next month.

Lee said the airline would be seeking more investment in future.

"We are not ruling out other strategic opportunities as they come out," he told reporters.

Value Partners co-founder Cheah Cheng Hye said the company sees it as a long-term investment in the airline as the company is optimistic about its prospects.

Lee said Oasis plans to list its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange in the next three to five years, hoping to raise 100 mln hkd through the initial public offering.

Oasis, which will be celebrating next month its first anniversary, has carried 275,000 passengers so far with a load factor, or a percentage of seats filled, at around 90 pct.

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