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Hong Kong’s Cathay shares jump 7.4% at open after slump this week

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Shares in Cathay Pacific (HK:0293) opened 7.4% higher on Wednesday in a relief rally after the Hong Kong airport reopened and the airline and its top shareholder condemned protests and vowed to follow China’s aviation regulations.

The share price jump came after Cathay’s shares tumbled to a 10-year-low earlier in the week following the Chinese aviation regulator’s demand that it suspend personnel who engaged in or supported protests in Hong Kong from staffing flights into its airspace.

Cathay and top shareholder and manager Swire Pacific Ltd (HK:0019) placed advertisements on Wednesday in the Hong Kong Economic Journal in support of the Hong Kong government and its efforts to restore law and order.

“We condemn all illegal activities and violent behavior, which seriously undermine the fundamental principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ as enshrined in the Basic Law,” Swire Pacific said in a statement on Tuesday.

Cathay, whose strong British links make it a symbol of Hong Kong’s colonial past, has emerged as the highest-profile corporate target as Beijing looks to quell protests in the territory that have gone on for 10 straight weeks.

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