Singapore Airlines (SIA) is close to buying a stake in China Eastern Airlines (CEA), the Financial Times reported, citing a person close to the deal. The purchase could be worth "hundreds of millions of US dollars." Talks between SIA and CEA have been in the process for more than a year with the Singapore carrier considering a stake of up to 25%, which would both give it access to the Shanghai air transport market and help restructure the heavily indebted CEA. Since news of the negotiations emerged, shares in the Chinese airline have subsequently risen by more than 320% in Shanghai and 240% in Hong Kong. With Beijing ordering that no strategic stake in a listed company be sold at more than a 10% discount to the 20-day average closing share price, this has resulted in CEA's asking price rising considerably. Based on the current share price, analysts say a 25% stake in CEA would cost as much as US$1 billion. Air China has attempted to block the SIA investment by buying as much as 10% of its smaller rival through open-market share purchases.