AP News

Etihad boosts Virgin Australia stake to 10 percent

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Abu Dhabi's fast-growing Etihad Airways says it has increased its stake in Virgin Australia to 10 percent as it looks to deepen its ties to the Australian market.

Government-backed Etihad said Sunday it bought the 221 million shares on the open market in recent months. Financial details weren't disclosed.

Etihad first disclosed its stake in Virgin Australia in June. Australian regulators allowed it to increase its stake in the carrier from 5 percent to 10 percent in July.

Etihad says it doesn't aim to become a majority shareholder in the airline.

The Gulf carrier has also amassed minority stakes in overseas carriers Air Berlin, Air Seychelles and Aer Lingus. The purchases are a way for Etihad to gain an edge over larger Gulf rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways.

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