China Eastern loses (only) a little ground, Malaysia Airlines talks merger


China Eastern (-5.6%), Kingfisher (-12.5%) and Jet Airways (-10.7%) shares showed the steepest falls yesterday, 16-Apr-09. Malaysia Airlines (+2.6%) rose a little on merger talk.

Hainan Airlines (+5.7%), one of China’s best private airline performers this year continued its strong rise and is now up 70.6% since the beginning of 2009.

Hainan Airlines share price growth: Jan-09 to Apr-09

And, despite its current horrendous loss making trend (losing nearly USD1 million per hour in the last quarter), China Eastern stocks were treated relatively gently by investors.

Asia Pacific airlines daily share price movements (% change): 16-Apr-09

Kingfisher and Jet Airways fell along with a general fall in the overall Indian market. Airline stocks have become speculators’ targets as the sector has become more volatile and, after previous gains, yesterday’s falls were due mainly to profit taking and renewed weakness in traffic data in Mar-2009.

Malaysia Airlines’ CEO, Idris Jala, was meanwhile reported to have said that the carrier was studying around 30 airlines with a view to a possible investment – presumably with a view to a strategic relationship. Malaysia Airlines has approximately MR3.5 billion (USD1 billion) in cash in bank, according to the reports.

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