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China Eastern: no change before shareholder meeting
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In response to China National Aviation Holding Company's (CNAHC) request to review the offer, China Eastern Airlines said yesterday that the proposed plan for a share sale to Singapore Airlines Ltd will remain unchanged until the shareholders' meeting next Tuesday.


A senior official close to the deal from China Eastern told China Daily that minor shareholders have the right to query the offer, but the details of the proposed sale would not be changed.


The parent company of Air China, China National Aviation Holding Company, which owns a 12.07 percent stake in China Eastern, said yesterday that an offer by Singapore Airlines Ltd for a stake in China Eastern Airlines Corp did not reflect fair value of the Shanghai-based airline, and that it reserved the rights to make a counter-proposal.


It requested that China Eastern and the bidders present a better proposal.


The CNAHC statement comes after Li Jiaxiang, chairman of Air China and its parent company, was appointed on Friday as the new head of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China, China's aviation watchdog.


Air China A shares soared 8.05 percent to close at 29.65 yuan yesterday, boosted by Li's new appointment. China Eastern Airlines jumped 1.32 percent to close at 21.57 yuan.


"The new appointment and the clear statement from China National Aviation cast new doubts and uncertainties on the conclusion of the proposal," said Xia Fulu, an analyst at Industrial Securities.


(China Daily January 3, 2008)


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