Air France-KLM stocks drop 9.3% after Dutch state bought shares

KLM Boeing 737-700, PH-BGP at Schiphol Airport
KLM Boeing 737-700, PH-BGP at Schiphol Airport. (Saschaporsche / Wikimedia Commons)

The price for Air France-KLM shares opened 9.3 percent lower on Wednesday, dropping from 12.73 euros at closing on Tuesday to 11.65 euros just after the start of trading on Wednesday. On Tuesday evening Ministers Wopke Hoekstra of Finance and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure announced that the Dutch State built up a significant share in the airline group over the past week, NU.nl reports.

Over the past week the Dutch State bought a 12.8 percent interest in Air France-KLM. The government paid approximately 680 million euros for these shares, amounting to an average price of 12.50 euros per share. More and more important decisions are being made within the airline combination that the Dutch State is only informed about afterwards, Hoekstra said. "We want to sit at the table and not be surprised", Van Nieuwenhuizen said.

The Dutch government ultimately wants to expand its stake in the airline combination to around 14 percent, the same percentage as the French State holds.

The price of Air France-KLM shares has been climbing since last Wednesday. It is now clear that the Dutch State was active as a large buyer in the market. Now that the Dutch State's target of 14 percent stake is almost reach, the demand is falling away and therefore also the stock price. On February 18th share prices stood at 10.13 euros. It peaked on Tuesday at 12.73 euros per share, a 25.7 percent increase. 

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