Tue, Dec 21, 2010 - Page 11 News List

Airline shares soar on news of extra Chinese tourists


China Airlines Ltd (華航) paced gains by carriers and hotel companies in Taipei stock trading after the Chinese-language Economic Daily News said the government could raise the daily limit for Chinese tourist arrivals.

Shares in China Airlines, the largest carrier in the nation, climbed 2.1 percent to NT$24.85 as of 11:37am. Shares in EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空), the -second-biggest carrier, advanced 3 percent to a record NT$36.10.

Shares in Formosa International Hotels Corp (晶華酒店), the largest hotel operator, gained 1.1 percent to NT$540. The benchmark TAIEX fell 0.9 percent to 8,740.30.

The government may increase the daily quota of Chinese tourists from 3,000 to 4,000, starting as early as Jan. 1, the newspaper reported, without citing a source. Liu Te-shun (劉德勳), vice chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, did not answer two calls to his office.

“The news on Chinese tourist quotas is boosting expectations of more direct flights,” said Daniel Tzeng (曾健銓), an analyst at Fubon Securities Co (富邦投顧). “Direct flights provide high margins for these airlines.”

The report comes as a delegation led by China’s top negotiator on cross-strait affairs, Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), arrived in Taiwan yesterday for a new round of talks. China and Taiwan are expected to reach an agreement on health-care cooperation, Xinhua news agency reported.

Chinese visitors are likely to be Taiwan’s biggest source of arrivals for the first time this year, Tourism Bureau Chief Secretary Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰) said on Nov. 23.

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