14 bids emerge for stricken French airline, but none ‘feasible’

Aigle Azur airline is in cessation of payments and placed into receivership. (AFP)
Updated 10 September 2019

14 bids emerge for stricken French airline, but none ‘feasible’

  • Aigle Azur operates 11 planes but unions say potential suitors are likely to be most interested in its landing slots at Paris Orly
  • Aigle Azur transported last year some 1.9 million passengers, with destinations in Algeria making up half of its operations

PARIS: France’s Aigle Azur airline has received 14 takeover bids as it seeks to stave off a collapse that would put its 1,150 employees out of work, but it said all would have to be improved because they aren’t “feasible” for now.
“These takeover offers for the company all need to be refined and are not feasible in their current form,” the company said late Monday.
Some 13,000 passengers, mainly on the airline’s core Algeria routes, remain stranded after Aigle Azur filed for bankruptcy last week and canceled all flights as of Friday night.
A new works council meeting has been set for Friday, ahead of a court hearing on Monday, to evaluate improved offers due later this week.
Air France, the country’s flag carrier, has tabled an offer, though it declined to elaborate on whether it was for the entire airline or only specific assets.
EasyJet confirmed in had lodged a bid, as has fellow low-cost operator Vueling, union sources said.
The Dubreuil group, which owns Air Caraibes, told AFP it had made a bid, as has Lionel Guerin, the former CEO of Air France’s low-cost subsidiary Hop.
“Obviously there are two main activities: the long-haul flights, which would interest Air Caraibes, and then the core France-Algeria and France-Maghreb operations, which would interest candidates like Air France,” France’s secretary of state for transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, told France Info radio on Monday.
Aigle Azur operates 11 planes but unions say potential suitors are likely to be most interested in its landing slots at Paris Orly, the city’s second-biggest airport, after Charles de Gaulle.
Aigle Azur transported last year some 1.9 million passengers, with destinations in Algeria making up half of its operations that brought in 300 million euros ($329 million) of revenue.


Oil surges, stock futures slip after attack on Saudi facility

Updated 2 min 48 sec ago

Oil surges, stock futures slip after attack on Saudi facility

  • Oil prices surge on fears of global supply disruption
  • Safe haven gold, Japanese yen rise, stock futures slip

SYDNEY, Australia: Oil prices surged to six-month highs on Monday while Wall Street futures fell and safe-haven bets returned after weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia’s crude facilities knocked out more than 5% of global oil supply.
US crude futures were last up 11% at $61.10 a barrel, coming off highs on expectations other global oil suppliers would step in to lift output. Brent crude soared 13% at $68.06 after earlier rising to $71.95.
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebel group had claimed responsibility for the attack, which hit the world’s biggest oil-processing facility but a senior US official told reporters on Sunday that evidence indicated Tehran was behind it.
The attacks heightened investor worries about the geopolitical situation in the region and worsening relations between Iran and the United States.
Those fears powered safe-haven assets with prices for gold climbing 1% in early Asian trade to $1,503.09.
Moves in Asian share markets were small, however, with Japan shut for a public holiday.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was a tick lower at 515.4. Australian shares were down 0.1% while South Korea’s KOSPI was a tad higher.
E-Minis for the S&P 500 were off 0.4% while those for the Dow eased 0.3%.
“If risk appetite collapses due to fears of worsening middle east tensions in the wake of any retaliation to the drone attacks, some emerging markets could face a double whammy of pressures,” said Mitul Kotecha, Singapore-based senior emerging markets stratgist at TD Securities.
“In Asia, the most risk sensitive currencies are Indian rupee, Indonesian rupiah and Philippine peso .”

Bonds and currencies
Among major currencies, the Saudi news pushed the yen up 0.4% to 107.64 per dollar while the Canadian dollar rose 0.5% in anticipation of higher oil prices.
The euro was little moved near a three-week top while the pound hovered near Friday’s two-month highs. That left the greenback down 0.15% at 98.105 against a basket of six major currencies.
The risk-sensitive Australian dollar was down 0.5% against the yen, snapping nine straight days of gains. The kiwi dollar slipped to a one-week low on the yen.
“One immediate question this (attack) poses for bond markets is whether a further rise in the inflation expectations component of bond yields — which have proved historically sensitive to oil prices — will give this month’s sharp bond market sell-off fresh impetus,” Attrill added.
“Or will safe haven considerations dominate to drive yields lower? Watch this space.”
In early Asian trading, futures for US 10-year Treasury notes rose 0.3%, indicating yields may slip when cash trading begins.
Global bonds were sold off last week, sending yields higher, led by a broader risk rally on hopes the United States and China would soon end their long trade war. Better-than-expected US retail sales data also boosted sentiment.
Chinese data for industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment will be released later on Monday, which could help set the tone for this week’s trade.
Investors also await the outcome of the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on Wednesday at which it is widely expected to ease interest rates and signal its future policy path.