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Qatar Airways buys near 10% Cathay Pacific stake

Qatar Airways has entered an agreement to purchase close to 10% of Cathay Pacific.

After falling almost 5%, Cathay Pacific's shares trimmed losses and were down around 1.5% in afternoon trading in Hong Kong.

"Moreover, Air China and Qatar Airways have non-economic political interests given that they are state-owned enterprises", Png said.

Earlier this year it made a bid to buy 10 percent in American Airlines, the United States' largest carrier, but the deal went sour and Qatari officials eventually said that "it no longer met" Qatar Airways' objective.

Qatar Airways has acquired approximately a 9.61% stake in Cathay Pacific Airways.

The Cathay swoop is in line with a strategy of blue-chip deals that have seen Qatar Air buy 20 per cent of British Airways owner IAG and 10 per cent of No. 1 South American carrier Latam Airlines.

Kingboard expects to reap an 800 million Hong Kong dollar ($102 million) profit from selling its Cathay stake, the company said in the filing.

Cathay Chief Executive Rupert Hogg said the two carriers already worked closely together and "we look forward to a continued constructive relationship".

Cathay shares dropped around 4.4 percent in early trade but pared losses mid-morning and in the afternoon.

A stake in Cathay will provide Qatar with leverage to tap into the fast-growing Chinese and Asian aviation market, with outbound Chinese tourist numbers increasing by 50% in the three years to 2017 and domestic tourists travelling within China reaching 705m during the Golden Week celebrations in October alone, according to research from the China National Tourism Administration and China Securities Journal.

However, the airline said at the time that it would continue to invest in its frontline capabilities to deliver "high-quality products and services to its customers".

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