AROUND 2.5 MILLION investors who bought Air France shares saw them rise 15 per cent in value yesterday as the airline made its market debut on the Paris Bourse after its partial privatisation by the French government.
The 20.7 per cent stake offered for sale to investors closed at 16.10 euros, valuing the entire airline at 3.15 billion euros. The French government promised to sell the stake in exchange for European Commission approval for a 20 billion FrFr rescue package for the ailing national carrier. Nearly 2.5 million individuals bought shares in float. In Milan, Alitalia shares were suspended before the official opening following renewed talk of a link up with Air France, which would also include Alitalia's partners KLM and Continental. KLM has denied the rumours.