Qatar’s Aviation Leasing is planning to launch a $650m syndicated loan after securing underwriting from the UK’s Standard Chartered and Germany’s Deutsche Bank.

The two banks will launch the facility to the bank market later in February. Several aspects of the deal are still being finalised by the underwriters and borrower.

Banks will be invited to put in around $100m each, according to a source close to the deal. That would mean the total banking group should be around seven banks, depending on the size of each banks commitment.

The deal will be a test of the Gulf loan market following the news that Gulf Finance House has asked banks to extend the final $100m that it owes on a $300m loan by six months until August (MEED 04:02:10).

One Dubai-based loan banker says the deal could emulate the success of several Qatari bond issues last year that managed to raise billions of dollars despite the debt problems of corporates in Saudi Arabia and Dubai. He says, “The good thing for this deal is Qatar has avoided a lot of the high profile problems that have hit other parts of the region, and the economy is expected to grow a lot this year.”