Air China raises pressure on rival

AIR China has increased its efforts to buy a stake in China Eastern Airlines, saying it will pay more than a rival offer.

China Eastern shareholders meet tomorrow to decide whether to accept a $923m (467m) bid from Singapore Airlines and investment firm Temasek.

But Air China said it will pay at least five Hong Kong dollars per share for the 24 per cent stake – well above the HK$3.80 offer currently on the table.

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It promised a "strategic alliance" with China Eastern if the deal fell through.

Air China's parent firm, China National Aviation Corp Group, already owns 12 per cent of its rival's Hong Kong-listed shares.

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