China Eastern says about to sign Singapore deal

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SHANGHAI, Nov 5 (Reuters) China Eastern Airlines <600115.SS><0670.HK> said its Shanghai-listed A shares were suspended from Monday because it was about to sign a previously announced deal for Singapore Airlines to take a stake in it.

A brief statement by China Eastern did not give details of when the signing would take place or how long the shares would be suspended.

The companies announced in September that Singapore Airlines and its parent Temasek [TEM.UL] would pay US8 million for a combined 24 percent stake in China Eastern, in the first purchase by foreign firms of a major, strategic stake in a top Chinese airline.

Rival Air China <601111.SS><0753.HK>, whose parent owns just over 11 percent of China Eastern, and Cathay Pacific <0293.HK> subsequently said they were interested in buying into China Eastern in order to block the Singapore Airlines deal.

But the airlines ultimately abandoned that plan. China Eastern said last month that it was leaving its options open.

REUTERS PBB AS0510

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