Cathay Pacific Shares Slide To 9-yr Low As Data Leak Rattles Investors

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By Anne Marie Roantree

HONG KONG, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Shares of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd slid nearly 7 percent to a nine-year low on Thursday after it said data of about 9.4 million passengers of Cathay and its unit, online dumps Shop Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd, had been accessed without authorization.

Cathay said late on Wednesday that in addition to 860,000 passport numbers and about 245,000 Hong Kong identity card numbers, the hackers accessed 403 expired credit card numbers and 27 credit card numbers with no card verification value (CVV).

The company said it discovered suspicious activity on its network in March 2018 and investigations in early May confirmed that certain personal data had been accessed.

Hong Kong's privacy commission on Thursday expressed serious concern over the data breach and urged the airline to notify passengers affected by the leak as soon as possible and provide details immediately.

Shares of Cathay Pacific slid as much as 6.8 percent on Thursday to HK$9.90, their lowest in nine years.

That compared with a 2 percent fall for fresh cvv the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

The stock pared losses and was down 4.9 percent at 0528 GMT.

"People are concerned about why it took so long for them to make an announcement," said Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities.

"The market demands more details and explanation."

Cathay Pacific's chief customer and commercial officer, Paul Loo, defended the length of time it took the airline to alert affected passengers.

"We didn't want to create an unnecessary scare.

Now we understand very well how each customer has been affected," Loo told broadcaster RTHK, adding that those affected would be notified in the next two days.

Cathay told Reuters it was important to have accurate information so that people know the facts.

"Now that we have conducted a thorough investigation, we are notifying anyone who has potentially been affected," the airline said in an email statement.