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January 13, 2010    

Shares in Japan Airlines plummet 81% to just 7 yen

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by Kay Murchie
Shares in Japan Airlines plummet 81% to just 7 yen

Shares in troubled Japan Airlines (JAL) plummeted 81% to just 7 yen today after falling 45% yesterday to 37 yen.

The stock fell for a second consecutive day as a bankruptcy filing seemed unavoidable.

JAL’s market value has dived by around $1.8 billion in two days to $200 million.

According to Hideaki Higashi, market strategist at SMBC Friend Securities, “The selling is unstoppable.

“Event-driven market players are hammering down JAL. It’s a money game. The market is driving the company to go under,” he added.

Some traders believe that the stock could fall to just 1 yen as selling is far exceeding those buying the stock.

The airline, which is Asia’s largest carrier, is grappling with a mountain of debt and it is currently under the watchful eye of the state-backed turnaround body (the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp of Japan), which will decide later this month whether or not to support JAL with taxpayer money.

Like many other airlines, it has been struggling amid the global economic downturn which has led to a slump in demand.

Many airlines have been forced out of business as fewer people are travelling by air.

Meanwhile, JAL is also understood to be on the verge of abandoning British Airways and American Airlines by withdrawing from the Oneworld alliance.

However, American Airlines, British Airways and Qantas have outlined a new $2 billion proposal to keep JAL locked into the alliance.

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Tags: 7 yen, bankruptcy filing, fresh low, inevitable, , , market value, Oneworld alliance, , traders