Banks offer Qatar Aviation $2bn

17 March 2010

Lenders massively oversubscribe to Qatar government-backed deal

Qatar Aviation has received commitments of around $2bn from banks during the syndication of a $650m loan deal.

The deal was underwritten and pre-funded by the UK’s Standard Chartered and Germany’s Deutsche Bank. Around 20 banks responded to the invitation to fund the loan by the mid-March deadline for responses.

A UAE-based banker close to the deal says banks are due to finalise documentation by 18 March, and that the deal should be signed within a week of that date.

Most banks responded with commitments above the sizes they had been asked to provide, and so will now have to be scaled back. The loan will not be increased in size.

Qatar Aviation launched the loan deal in mid-February.

Qatar Aviation Leasing is a company set up to purchase and lease aircraft to Qatar Airways. The deal benefits from a Qatar sovereign guarantee and will have a tenor of three years. Pricing on the loan is 250 basis points above the London interbank offered rate (Libor).

Bankers are still awaiting news on several other loan deals in the markets, including the Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company’s $2.5bn refinancing. That deal has been priced at 150 basis points over Libor, with additional fees starting at 150 basis points. Mubadala is also expected to give banks an idea of the pricing it will pay on a $2.5bn refinancing deal before the end of March.

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