Iberia ups stake in British Airways

Spanish flag carrier, and potential merger partner of British Airways (BA), Iberia has more than doubled its stake in BA to 7.3 per cent over the past three weeks taking advantage of the steep fall in the UK flag carrier's share price.

Iberia had announced at the end of July that it had bought an initial 2.99 per cent stake in BA even as both airlines announced they were negotiating a merger aimed at rivalling European giants Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.

Iberia had also stated then that it had "no intention" of increasing its total economic exposure to BA above the level of 9.99 per cent but would "at an appropriate time" acquire additional shares in the UK flag carrier.

BA's share price closed 3 per cent higher on Monday at 125p.