* JAL shares climb to highest since September relisting
* ANA hits 7-month high as FAA approves 787 test flights
* Battery maker GS Yuasa falls, down 5 pct since Boston fire
TOKYO, Feb 8 Shares of All Nippon Airways Co Ltd
and Japan Airlines Co Ltd rose sharply on
Friday, outperforming the broader market, after U.S. agencies
cleared Boeing Co to restart test flights of its ground
The two Japanese airlines operate nearly half of the 50
Dreamliners in service, with ANA owning the most with 17,
representing 7 percent of its fleet.
The new lightweight, carbon-composite aircraft were grounded
worldwide on Jan. 16, after a series of battery incidents,
including a fire on board a parked 787 in Boston operated by JAL
and an in-flight problem on an ANA plane in Japan.
But late on Thursday, the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration said it would allow test flights, under more
stringent rules, to monitor the batteries in flight. That
followed an earlier, one-time flight to move a 787 from Texas to
ANA shares advanced 4.9 percent to 193 yen to a seven-month
high, and JAL jumped as much as 6 percent to 4,440 yen, its
highest level since its relisting in September, while Tokyo's
Nikkei benchmark was down 1.8 percent.
Hikes in JAL's annual operating profit also boosted its
shares, a trader said. The company on Monday raised its
operating profit forecast for the fiscal year to end-March by
almost 13 percent to $2 billion, citing strong demand on
European, North American and Southeast Asian routes.
Analysts have said they did not see a serious impact on both
Japanese carriers unless if the grounding drags on for a long
"It's not significant influence on short-term earnings,"
said Hidehiro Tomioka, head of equity investment at Manulife
But he said if the Dreamliner were to be grounded for a year
or so, then it would have serious implications for their
ANA said last week that it lost around $15 million in
revenue as a result of the Dreamliner grounding, while JAL said
the idling of the passenger jets would shave $7.6 million from
its operating profit in the year to end-March.
GS Yuasa Corp, the battery maker for the
Dreamliner, shed 1.5 percent to 330 yen. Its stock is down 5.4
percent since the Boston fire on Jan. 7, sharply underperforming
a 5.1 percent rise in the Nikkei.
In a sign of investors' bearishness on the stock,
short-selling interest in the company was high, although it had
slipped from a recent peak, according to data provider Markit.
Markit data showed 80.2 percent of GS Yuasa stock that is
available to be borrowed went out on loan as of Feb. 6, down
from 86.76 percent on Jan. 22.