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Wednesday, 30th December 2009
In Business In Japan,

Japan Airlines shares fall sharply

Shares in ailing Japanese carrier Japan Airlines have fallen by almost a quarter as the company nears bankruptcy.

The airline - which is the largest carrier in Asia - saw its shares fall by 24 per cent to reach a low of 67 yen (£0.40).

Over the past eight years, the Japanese flag carrier has been bailed out by the government three times and is currently in debt by 500 billion yen. In the last financial year, the firm made a loss of more than 62 billion yen.

Overall, the carrier has made a loss in four out of the past five financial years.

Earlier this month, Japanese finance minister Hirohisa Fujii stated that the government would no longer be willing to bail out the airline.

Commenting on the fall in share prices, Mitsushige Akino, from the Ichiyoshi Investment Management firm, told Bloomberg: "Shareholders are becoming convinced that bankruptcy will be the case. They are dumping the stock. JAL's value will be zero if it goes bankrupt."

Written by Kimberley Homer.

Related news stories:
Japan Airlines gets bid from consortium (18th September 2009)
Japan Airlines announces US airline deal (13th January 2011)
Japan Airlines 'to take American offer' (9th February 2010)
New management take over Japan Airlines (3rd February 2010)
US carrier makes new offer to Japan Airlines (3rd December 2009)