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EU regulators approve Munich airport, Lufthansa loans

Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 6:04 AM ET

BRUSSELS, Oct 3 (Reuters) - EU competition regulators cleared on Wednesday public loans granted to German carrier Lufthansa and Munich Airport to build a second terminal, saying the companies paid market rates for the loans.

The European Commission opened an investigation into the matter four years ago following a complaint from Irish low-cost airline Ryanair .

The German public credit institution for development Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KfW) and the Bavarian public bank Bayerische Landesbank had provided the financing for the terminal.

"Loans granted ... were granted on terms that a private investor operating under market conditions would have accepted ... and therefore conferred no economic advantage to the operators and owners of terminal 2," the EU watchdog said in a statement.

The Commission is currently looking into several cases involving state aid given to airlines and airports across the 27-country European Union. It plans to adopt new state aid guidelines for the sector next year.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Charlie Dunmore)

((foo.yunchee@thomsonreuters.com)(+32 2 287 6844)(Reuters Messaging: foo.yunchee.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: EU LUFTHANSA/RYANAIR

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