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英国《金融时报》:国航为何增持国泰航空?

(2009-11-30 16:40:24)
标签:

of

国泰航空

to

太古股份

国泰股份

中国

杂谈

分类: 国航新闻

  对于中国国航(Air China)将其在国泰航空(Cathay Pacific)的持股从17.5%增至29.99%的决定,有两种解释。

  国有的中国国航希望投资者相信,此笔63亿港元(合8.10亿美元)的交易,是对资金的理智运用。从纯经济角度看,此言不谬。国泰航空的股价不算高——正如花旗集团(Citigroup)所指出的,其股价为账面价值的1.2倍,略低于12年平均水平。相对于上周五收盘价的溢价只有11%,不算苛刻,这反映出卖方中信泰富(Citic Pacific)的脆弱状态。而自2002年以来,国泰的平均股本回报率比国航高出三分之一。

  但是,增持国泰航空股份,与中国国航成为一家国际超级航空公司的长期雄心并不合拍。国泰航空仍在太古股份(Swire Pacific)的牢牢掌握之下,太古股份也购得国泰2%股份,使其在国泰的持股比例增至42%。以北京为基地的中国国航,本来有意与上海的东航(China Eastern)合并,从而在中国内地的两大关键市场取得压倒性地位,并获得真正的全球增长平台。东航现在正与上海航空(Shanghai Airlines)合并。与其买入国泰股份,国航现在应该在反弹中的国内市场加大竞争力度。

  另一种解释更为平庸。国泰并未针对配股发行的传言进行辟谣——这将是中信泰富难以承受的,该公司仍在忙于摆脱去年的创纪录亏损。通过接手中信泰富持有的大部分国泰股份,国航董事长孔栋——中信泰富母公司中信集团(Citic Group)董事长孔丹的弟弟——将解决这个特别的问题。

  这种说法也许有些牵强。但中国国航股价周二在大盘上扬的背景中下跌2%,似乎表明投资者对官方的解释缺乏信心。

 

译者:和风

 

  英文原文:

There are two explanations – one official, one unofficial – for Air China"s decision to buy more shares in Cathay Pacific, raising its stake from 17.5 per cent to 29.99.

State-owned Air China would have investors believe the HK$6.3bn (£810m) deal is a rational use of capital. And it is, in purely economic terms. The Hong Kong-based airline is trading inexpensively – 1.2 times book value is just shy of its 12-year average, as Citigroup notes. The premium to Friday"s close is an undemanding 11 per cent, reflecting the fragile status of the seller, Citic Pacific. And Cathay"s average return on equity since 2002 is a third better than Air China"s own.

But increasing exposure to Cathay – still firmly under the thumb of Swire Pacific, which is buying another 2 per cent from Citic to bring its stake to 42 per cent – is hard to reconcile with Air China"s long-cherished ambition of becoming an international super-carrier. The Beijing-hubbed airline had wanted to merger with China Eastern of Shanghai – now merging with Shanghai Airlines – which would have given a dominant position in the mainland"s two key markets, and a real platform for global growth. Rather than mopping up shares in Cathay, Air China should now be turning the screw in a rebounding domestic market.

The alternative explanation is more prosaic. Cathay has not banished rumours of a rights issue – something which Citic Pacific, still shaking off last year"s record loss, would have struggled to afford. By relieving Citic of most of its stake, Air China chairman Kong Dong – brother of Kong Dan, chairman of Citic"s parent, Citic Group – would solve that particular problem.

A stretch, possibly. But Air China"s 2 per cent slide on Tuesday, against a rising benchmark, suggests investors are underwhelmed by the official justification.

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