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China Eastern (CEA) shareholders approve $1 bln placement

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SHANGHAI, Feb 26 (Reuters) - China Eastern Airlines (NYSE:CEA)(HKG:0670)(SHA:600115) won shareholders' approval on Thursday for a share placement plan that will bring it a capital injection of 7 billion yuan ($1.02 billion) from the government.

The airline, one of China's three major carriers, will use the funds to improve its balance sheet and strengthen its ability to continue operations, it said.

After years of robust growth on the back of a soaring domestic economy, China's airlines face falling passenger demand, intensifying competition and heavy cost pressures as the world's third-largest economy slows with the global recession.

China Eastern and its peers Air China (SHA:601111)(HKG:0753) and China Southern Airlines (SHA:600029)(HKG:1055) all predicted losses for 2008, and will disclose detailed figures in their annual financial reports, scheduled for release before Apr. 30.


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