American Airlines and China Southern Airlines agreed for the acquisition of 270.6 million H-shares of China Southern Airlines valued at $200 million by the US carrier, Bloomberg reported. With the deal, American Airlines will hold 2.68% of China Southern’s total issued shares.

The agreement, announced on Tuesday, 28th of March 2017, will also include code sharing between the two airlines.

American Airline’s investment in the Asian carrier will strengthen its place on the Chinese market, since its rival Delta Air Lines bought a minority stake in China Eastern Airlines in 2015. The investment also means that China Southern Airlines is the last of the country’s top three airlines to have strategic investors from overseas.

China Southern Airlines, the biggest Asian airline by passengers carried, said it was negotiating with American Airlines over potential “strategic cooperation, involving, among others, proposed issue of shares of the company," according to a statement released on March 26.

According to Bloomberg, China Southern’s stock traded in Shanghai was up by 1.8% to 8.02 yuan as of 9:25 a.m. (local time), taking its market value to 70.2 billion yuan ($10 billion).

The Guangzhou-based airline now operates a fleet of 700 aircraft, including freighters, and serves 193 destinations in 35 different countries worldwide.

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