Philippine Airlines Owner's Stock Surges 33% on Potential Japan Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Philippine Airlines Inc.’s largest shareholder jumped the most in more than five years after the Nikkei reported ANA Holdings Inc. is considering investing in the Southeast Asian carrier.

ANA, Japan’s biggest airline, is considering purchasing 10 percent of Philippine Airlines for 10 billion yen ($91 million), the Nikkei reported Tuesday. PAL Holdings Inc., which owns most of Philippine Airlines, closed 42 percent higher in Manila trading Wednesday, the biggest gain since July 2013. The Philippine benchmark stock index fell 0.2 percent.

Philippine Airlines Owner's Stock Surges 33% on Potential Japan Deal

ANA is in talks with PAL Holdings, but no concrete decision has been made yet, the Japanese company said in an emailed response.

Philippine Airlines remains in talks with potential investors and a deal may happen in the first half of the year, PAL President Jaime Bautista said by phone, adding he could neither confirm nor deny the report, citing confidentiality agreements signed with parties.

An investment in PAL, controlled by billionaire Lucio Tan, would provide Philippine Airlines with funds to expand in a market where a rash of low-cost carriers have encouraged more people to fly for business and leisure in the past decade. ANA has been looking to enhance its footprint in the region after decades of near duopoly in Japan, where an aging population threatens to reduce the number of air travelers.

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