Europe given six months to comply with WTO ruling

The WTO reportedly set a Dec-2011 deadline for European Member States to end “actional subsidies” to Airbus that it had judged to cause adverse effects to the interests of the US. The WTO Appellate Body recently ruled that the EU nations must “take appropriate steps to remove the adverse effects or … withdraw the [subsidies]”, which the US Trade Representative has estimated at USD18 billion.

Responding to the Appellate Body ruling earlier this month, Airbus stated it will continue to use state support in developing its aircraft and saw “no significant consequences for Airbus or the European support system” from the decision.

BAE Systems has announced an agreement to sell its commercial aircraft lease portfolio and asset management business BAE Systems Asset Management. The unit will be sold investment affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, for a cash consideration of USD187 million.

The sale, which is expected to close in 3Q2011. It is subject to certain post-completion adjustments. Completion is conditional, amongst other things, upon regulatory approval. BSAM is the world's second largest regional jet lessor by fleet value and the tenth largest aircraft lessor by fleet size. It has 16 lease customers in 11 countries. The business is responsible for the management of 151 commercial aircraft owned by BAE Systems.The support and engineering activities of BAE Systems Regional Aircraft are not included in this sale.

BAE Systems shares were down 0.3% on Thursday.

Shares in Chinese aerospace concern AviChina were up 3.8%.  The company's Hongdu Aviation subsidiary held its annual general meeting on 25-May-2011.

Selected Aerospace daily share price movements (% change): 26-May-2011