India’s SpiceJet denies Kuwait Airways set to buy 25% stake

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SpiceJet had said in January it received some interest from potential investors, but it would be premature to discuss the possibility of any concrete investments.

SpiceJet had said in January it received some interest from potential investors, but it would be premature to discuss the possibility of any concrete investments.

Indian carrier SpiceJet saw its shares surge 8.1 percent this week, despite the airline denying a news report from vccircle.com that Gulf carrier Kuwait Airways was looking to pick up a nearly 25 percent stake in the budget airline.

"The news report suggesting that a stake sale in SpiceJet is being considered to induct Kuwait Airways as a strategic partner is totally untrue and without any substance," SpiceJet said in an emailed statement.

SpiceJet had said in January it received some interest from potential investors, but it would be premature to discuss the possibility of any concrete investments, Reuters reported.

The Indian government this year changed regulations allowing foreign airlines to invest in domestic carriers. Abu Dhabi’s Etihad is awaiting final approval to buy a $379 million 24 percent stake in Jet Airways.

Kuwait Airways is the latest to be linked to a bid for a stake in an Indian carrier and Qatar Airways has also been named several times in unfounded rumours, something which has irritated its CEO Akbar Al Baker.

“You know there are always rumours. Around six months ago I did a statement to the press not to believe such rumours as the shareholders deliberately put out such rumours to boost share prices,” Al Baker said in May.

“There is an airline that made an announcement about Qatar Airways interest in them and this boosted their share price by seven percent. There was another airline that mentioned this and it had an impact of nearly 11 percent on their share price. These are being used by certain rouge dealers to maximise their profit.”

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