Air New Zealand plans to raise its Stake in Virgin Australia Holdings

Air-New-Zealand-Virgin-Australia.After gaining the essential approvals, Air New Zealand, the national carrier, plans to increase its stake in Virgin Australia Holdings to 25.9%. The rise in stake could happen after strengthening its presence in the Australian market.

Air New Zealand received consent from the Australian Treasurer to raise its stake. This approval was given after receiving consent from the Foreign Investment Review Board, the antitrust Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. This was said by the Auckland-based airline in a statement.

Shares in Air New Zealand last traded at $1.495, having increased by 15% this year.

According to the Reuters consensus of six analysts, the stock is rated a `buy'.

About 74% of the stock is under the possession of the government.

Air New Zealand has declared that it will be increasing its shareholding in Virgin Australia by 3%. It has also announced at its annual meeting held last week that it was extending its share buyback scheme for another year.

Air New Zealand has formed a partnership with Virgin. It provides links with its flights into Australia, after the failure of its Australian-based airline Ansett in 2001.

Virgin's other major shareholders are Virgin Group and Singapore Airlines. This year, a loss of $110 million was announced by the airline.