Qatar eyes stake in British Airways parent: report

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Qatar has approached International Airlines Group, owner of British Airways and Spain's Iberia, about becoming its biggest shareholder via the purchase of a stake held by struggling Spanish lender Bankia, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

The daily business newspaper, which cited two people familiar with the situation, said Qatar had made an informal approach to IAG to ask whether it would welcome the Gulf nation as an investor.

Both Bankia and IAG declined to comment on the report.

Bankia's 12-percent holding is worth about £627 million ($972 million, 740 million euros), according to Tuesday's closing share price.

London-listed IAG had informed Bankia three months ago that Qatar was interested in the stake, according to the FT, which cited a third person familiar with the matter.

IAG, which publishes its first-quarter results this Friday, saw its share price drop 0.53 percent to 280 pence in Wednesday morning deals on the FTSE 100 index of top companies, which was 0.24-percent higher at 6,573.11 points.

© 2013 AFP

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