Jet Airways jumps on report Etihad seeks higher stake in Indian airline

Jet Airways India jumped as much as 4.1 per cent on a report that Etihad Airways is seeking to increase its 24 per cent stake in the company.

The shares were trading 1.3 per cent higher at 282.4 rupees as of 3.24pm in Mumbai after Bloomberg TV India said Etihad approached the Aviation Ministry for permission.

Etihad, however, has denied the report.

“While it is not normally our policy to comment on media speculation, the simple fact is the Bloomberg story is wrong. We are not in discussions with the Government about raising our stake in Jet Airways,” an Etihad spokesperson said.

The report, citing unnamed government sources, also said the administration isn’t keen on approving a higher shareholding.

Jet Airways spokesman Manish Kalghatgi declined to comment on the report immediately.

Jet Airways closed its budget units at the end of last year as it sought to make a profit in its local operations, after warning it may not make money until 2017. It hasn’t reported a full-year profit since the year ended March 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Mumbai-based Jet Airways sold a 24 per cent stake to Etihad Airways in 2013, becoming the first Indian carrier to receive investments from a foreign airline after the government relaxed rules. It now faces greater competition after the local ventures of AirAsia Bhd. and Singapore Airlines started flights in recent months.

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