SpiceJet shares hit by political fallout

Shares in SpiceJet slumped 16.1%, the largest single-day decline in almost five years, as fallout from an investigation into India Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran hit companies owned by the Maran brothers. Dayanidhi Maran is reportedly a subject of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), alleging he benefitted from the granting of licences to telecommunications provider Aircel and from Maxis Group (which owns Aircel) taking a 20% stake in Sun Direct.

Dayanidhi Maran's brother, Kalanithi Maran, is the largest shareholder and CEO of SpiceJet. The Maran brothers also own and operate Sun TV Network Ltd, where shares fell 28.3%. Dayanidhi Maran denied any wrongdoing.

Most Asia Pacific airline shares closed lower, as local markets lost ground, following falls in US and European markets. The exception was Malaysia Airlines, up 1.4%, recovering after the carrier reported a larger-than-expected first quarter loss last week.

Selected Asia Pacific share price movements (% change): 02-Jun-2011