StanChart sees airline loans surge on Mideast, 
Asia orders

Standard Chartered, the British bank that earns most of its profit in Asia, plans to expand its airline loan book by almost 75 per cent over the next four years as demand for planes in the Middle East and Asia surges.

By Arif Sharif (Bloomberg)

Published: Fri 28 Mar 2014, 9:52 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:08 PM

The London-headquartered bank’s airline industry lending grew by $1.7 billion last year and the bank expects a similar rise this year, Simon Perkins, the bank’s chief commercial officer for aviation finance, said in a phone interview from Singapore on March 25. He said its airline industry assets, which includes loans and owned aircraft, will grow to $10 billion over the period from about $5.8 billion at the end of last year.

Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and flydubai announced more than $160 billion in total plane orders at the Dubai Airshow in December.

Planemakers Airbus Group and Boeing are expected to deliver about 80 planes to the region’s airlines this year. Deliveries are expected to grow by 11.8 per cent annually over the next three years, Standard Chartered said, citing data provider Ascend.

“Demand is that strong within our footprint of Asia, Africa and the Middle East,” Perkins said. “Of the global order book for commercial jets, about 35 to 45 per cent is from the Middle East and Asia.”

Standard Chartered is in talks with Qatar Aviation Lease Co to lease eight Airbus A320 planes that will be sub-leased to Pakistan International Airlines, Perkins said. Almost a quarter of the bank’s aviation assets are in the Middle East.

Emirates, the world’s biggest airline by international passenger traffic, is seeking to raise about $2 billion from four loans to fund plane purchases, two people familiar with the transaction said on March 13.

Etihad has sought three loan proposals from banks that may raise about $750 million to help pay for 10 Airbus and Boeing planes, three people familiar with the deals said last week.

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