Middle East Airlines IPO gathers momentum; Kuwait National Airways and Royal Jordanian fall

Middle East Airlines (MEA) announced Central Bank Governor, Riad Salameh, stated six banks had expressed interest in managing a partial initial public offering (IPO).

The airline expects to announce a manager for a 25% stake sale by Jun-2010, following a meeting of the Board of Directors and Central Bank. MEA is valued at USD1 billion. No single investor is permitted to own more than 1% of shares, which will be listed on Lebanon’s stock exchange.

Kuwait National Airways and Royal Jordanian lower

Elsewhere in the Middle East, all carriers were down yesterday, with Kuwait National Airways (-2.0%) taking the biggest fall, moving with the Kuwait Stock Exchange (-1.4%). Royal Jordanian (-1.0%) also fell with the Amman Stock Exchange (-0.5%). Air Arabia (-1.0%) also ended trading lower.

In Africa, Kenya Airways (-1.7%) shares were down again, as the closure of European airports continued to affect its operations. The carrier intends to resume services between Nairobi and London Heathrow today.

Comair (-1.1%) was also down. South Africa’s JSE (+1.0%) ended trading up, while the Travel and Leisure Index (-0.2%) slipped. 1time and Lonrho were flat.

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Selected African and Middle Eastern airlines share price movements (% change): 19-Apr-2010