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China seeks investors for jet engine maker - paper

  China is opening its doors to investors, including foreign firms, to take a 30% stake in its newly incorporated jet engine company which will supply engines for the country’s self-developed large commercial aircraft, the official Shanghai Securities News said on Monday.

Foreign financial investors are welcome to take a 30% stake in the state-owned engine maker, capitalized at CNY 6 billion (yuan) ($878 million), the newspaper said citing its vice chairman Tan Ruisong. Domestic investors, state-run or from the private-sector, are also welcome to compete for the, Tan was quoted as saying.

Aviation Industry Corp of China, a state aircraft maker, holds 4O% of the engine manufacturer. The parent of power equipment maker Shanghai Electric Group Co and a Shanghai government investment arm each hold a 15% stake, it added. The engine maker will currently focus on engines for jets with more than 150 seats but it will broaden its portfolio to target aircraft with more than 150 seats and business jets, the newspaper said.

Beijing has merged its two state aircraft makers AVIC I and AVIC II in 2008 to pool resources for the big jet project as it moves to wean itself from reliance on Boeing Co and Airbus. Preparations for developing passenger jets with more than 150 seats and freighters capable of handling more than 100 tons of cargo have already started. Detailed design and experiments are scheduled to begin after 2010, the China Securities Journal said in November, citing Miao Wei, China’s industry and information minister.

China, meanwhile, has signed up a total of 208 orders for its first self-developed regional jet ARJ21, unveiled in late 2007. (Reuters)