Two investment companies beat out Air China in a bid to buy a 65% controlling stake in Shenzhen Airlines that would have given the Beijing-based carrier a leg up in the fast-growing south, a region dominated by China Southern Airlines, the Wall Street Journal reported. The auction reflects a desire by Beijing to begin allowing market forces to shape the country's airline industry, analysts say, and while Air China already owns 25% of Shenzhen, it said it would continue to explore other ways to solidify its position in the south. No information was available about Yi Yang Group and Hui Run Investments, the two investment companies that won the auction.
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