Business / Economy

Chinese investment in French airport no threat to region's interests

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-09 10:51

PARIS - A Chinese-led consortium's capital injection into Toulouse Blagnac Airport in southwestern France would neither harm the regional interests, nor threaten Airbus' development schemes, a regional official said, rejecting fears over Chinese investment in publicly-run companies.

"Will the shareholders' agreement harm the interests of the region and make eventual expenses which it would not manage? The answer is no," said Martin Malvy, president of the Midi-Pyrenees regional council.

"In terms of capital increase, investment, or the company's financial difficulties, the region would not be committed beyond its initial contribution of 7,850 euros ($8,523)

the value of the 5 percent stake held since 2007," Malvy stressed in a statement released late on Tuesday.

A consortium made up of Chinese companies Shandong Hi-Speed Group and Friedmann Pacific Asset Management won the bid for a 49. 99 percent stake in the French airport, worth 308 million euros.

After a regional council meeting was held on April 7, Malvy announced that 63 councilors endorsed the investment deal while 24 others were said to have acted for voidance of the agreement.

Remaining the majority holder, the state will issue the flight permits and decide on environmental measures, according to Malvy.

In a recent interview, Fabrice Bregier, head of Airbus, said Chinese investment was "extremely positive" as they have decided to invest more than others to boost air traffic in Toulouse.

Speaking to the regional newspaper La Depeche du Midi in a previous interview, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said, "It's not a privatization, but rather the capital is being opened up with the local authorities and the state is remaining the majority holders."

Asked about remarks against China's acquisition of the airport stake, Macron said, "Those who, in Toulouse, are keen on employment and the success of Airbus, should think twice about what they say. Our country must remain attractive because it is good for growth and hence employment."

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