November 6, 2017 / 9:02 AM / a year ago

Air China says views Qatar Airways buy into Cathay Pacific as positive

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Air China (601111.SS) (0753.HK) on Monday said it viewed Qatar Airways’ acquisition of a 9.61 percent stake in Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (0293.HK) “positively” and that it hoped the shareholders could work together to find synergies.

Zhou Feng, board secretary of Air China which owns 29.99 percent of Cathay Pacific as part of a cross-shareholding, made the comments after Qatar announced it had bought the stake from Hong Kong’s Kingboard Chemical Holdings (0148.HK) for HK$5.16 billion ($661.35 million).

For Cathay, the Qatar stake will give it a third strategic shareholder behind Swire Pacific Ltd (0019.HK) and Air China.

“With respect to the three companies, we believe that while competition and cooperation both exist, it depends how the carriers maintain a balance,” Zhou said.

“As long as the shareholders are more professional, they will understand strategy and the business better than non-professional shareholders.”

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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