Australia: Canberra eases rules for Qantas

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The Australian government has abandoned plans to allow struggling national carrier Qantas to be majority overseas owned but agreed to ease some restrictions. Qantas has sought help after a A$235 million (R2.3 billion) loss in the second half of last year and a decision to slash 5 000 jobs amid fierce competition. It wanted Canberra to relax the 1992 Qantas Sales Act which caps foreign ownership at 49 percent and individual foreign stakes at 25 percent, which it said restricted its access to capital. The government has agreed to allow a single foreign investor to own 49 percent. – Sapa-AFP

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