Emirates takes more Islamic finance

09 August 2002

Dubai-based carrier Emiratesin early August signed its latest Islamically structured finance package for an aircraft acquisition. The $90 million facility is for the 23rd of a series of 29 Airbus A330-200s Emirates has on firm order: the aircraft is scheduled for delivery by the end of August.

The 10-year Islamic finance package has been structured by HSBC Amanah Finance, the Islamic banking unit of HSBC Holdings, and Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB). HSBC's Hong Kong-based structured finance team arranged the transaction, and the participants in the syndication were DIB, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, National Bank of Dubai (NBD), HSBC Bank Middle East, Kuwait Finance Houseand British Arab Commercial Bank- in which HSBC holds a 46 per cent stake.

Emirates has been successful in diversifying its funding sources. This is its third Islamically structured aircraft financing deal in the last 12 months. In March it signed a similar 10-year, $90 million package arranged and structured by the same team, and last August it took a $103 million, two-tranche Islamic package lead arranged by HSBC, NBD and DIB that was 85 per cent covered by three European export credit agencies (MEED 15:3:02; 24:8:01). Last summer also saw Emirates launch a AED 1,500 million ($409 million) bond: it was the first local currency issue from a UAE corporate. Bankers say Emirates is examining closely the possibility of another - possibly international - bond issue (MEED 13:7:01).

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