Shanghai-listing candidate Hainan Airlines is about to relaunch its US$33.3 million flotation following resolution of most of its differences with its majority shareholder, US financier George Soros. Concerns by American Aviation Investment, a fund partially controlled by Mr Soros, about mainland regulations and listing requirements have led the airline's B-share listing to be held up for more than a month. The regional carrier was expected to sell 71 million B shares in April at 47 US cents a share, equivalent to 13 times this year's earnings of 140 million yuan (about HK$129.92 million). A company official yesterday confirmed that a difference in understanding on the part of the US shareholder over its legal obligations regarding listed companies had been the main cause for the postponement. Underwriting sources said the US shareholder had originally refused to sign the listing documents and disclaimed responsibility for the information contained in the airline's prospectus and underwriting agreement. The US shareholder demanded evidence proving the accuracy of the information before taking on any legal obligations, the sources said. 'To us, some of it is really minor, such as the total number of pilots,' he said. 'But in the US, similar mistakes could draw a lawsuit from investors. 'They were concerned that they may have to bear legal obligations for incorrect information contained in the listing documents, no matter how minor, once their signature was on the documents.' Hainan Airlines eventually succeeded in getting the US fund to sign the documents after the fund was sent extra information about the mainland securities markets and was told of amendments being made to the listing documents, the sources said. The sources said the US shareholder had now signed most of the listing documents after weeks of negotiations, leaving little to be settled. 'The discussion tonight will probably be final,' the sources said. Hainan Airline's B-share sale of about 15 per cent of its enlarged share capital will dilute the American Aviation Investment's stake in the company to about 21.2 per cent. After the B-share listing, foreign shareholders will hold a combined 36.2 per cent of the airline. The total foreign-held stake will be diluted to 35 per cent after the later issue of 17.5 million A shares, to comply with restrictions on foreign ownership in mainland airlines. The airline, which is based in Haikou, the capital of the island province of Hainan, operates 13 aircraft, including nine Boeing 737 jets.