Macquarie Airports' shares crash on dividend worries

Macquarie Airports, a major shareholder in Sydney, Copenhagen, Brussels and Bristol airports, is suffering a wave of selling, with the stock plunging 9.6% yesterday and a further 8.5% today in morning trade on the Australian Stock Exchange. The selling appears related to moves by Macquarie Group's Singapore-listed infrastructure fund to cut dividends to conserve cash and retire debt. There are also rumours Qantas could be preparing to trim its international capacity, which would affect volumes at Sydney, while Sterling's demise will have an impact on Copenhagen Airport's traffic volumes and profits.

MAp's shares have crashed below the March 2002 issue price of AUD2.00 and are now some 58% off recent 52-week highs.

Other airport groups encountered heavy selling yesterday, including Hochtief (-7.8%), which also has an exposure to Sydney Airport, Vienna Airport (down a further 6.8%) and Mexican airport operator, GAP (-6.1%).

Selected airport's daily share price movements (% change): 12-Nov-08