SIA Has No Plans to Revise China Eastern Bid


Singapore Airlines said on Monday that its offer to buy a stake in China Eastern Airlines was still valid, but said it had no plans to revise its existing bid for the mainland carrier.

Singapore Airlines, the world's second-biggest airline by stock market value, saw its bid to increase exposure to the booming China market suffer a setback after shareholders of China Eastern last month rejected a deal to sell 24 percent of the firm for $920 million to Singapore Airlines and its parent, Singapore state investor Temasek.

The bid had also met strong resistance from rival Air China.

"We have no plans," Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Chew Choon Seng said in response to a question on whether the airline will renew its bid. "We continue to engage them (China Eastern) in commercial cooperation, beyond that we have no other plans."

Analysts expected Singapore Air to make a second bid, or to target smaller regional Chinese carriers, to seize routes in the world's fastest growing aviation market.

"Our offer is still on the table and we have said it is fair and full value," Chew told reporters on the sidelines of a conference. "We will not ignore the growth markets, like China and India.

"We are always having an open mind and are scanning our horizons, but given the state of the world financial markets there are other things that engage our attention, such as planning for contingencies."

The International Air Transport Association told Reuters on Sunday that global airlines are likely to see a further profit cut in 2008 as the credit crisis deepens and fuel costs remain near record highs.