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Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific’s shares fell as much as 6.9 per cent after the lunch break on Wednesday as the airline reported its first annual loss since 2008.

Cathay reported a loss of HK$575m ($74m) for 2016 in the face of increased competition from mainland Chinese airlines and falling demand for premium class seats.

The airline’s stock had recovered slightly to trade down 4.5 per cent at HK$11.08 a share, while the benchmark Hang Seng index was flat.

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