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Mon 30 Mar 2015 01:22 PM

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Emirates to acquire four new A380s via $913m sukuk

Dubai airline says superjumbo planes are expected to be delivered in April, May, June and July

Emirates to acquire four new A380s via $913m sukuk

Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, has announced it has priced a $913 million sukuk issue that will be guaranteed by Britain's export credit agency.

The proceeds from the issuance will be used to fund the acquisition of four Airbus A380-800 aircraft, which are expected to be delivered in April, May, June and July.

The aircraft will be leased to and operated by Emirates, the airline said in a statement on Monday.

The issuance of the certificates, which have a tenor of 10 years, marks the world’s first sukuk financing supported by UKEF and the largest ever capital markets offering in the aviation space with an export credit agency guarantee, it added.

It is the first time that the British export credit agency has guaranteed a sukuk issue. London is seeking to boost its position as a centre for Islamic finance.

The transaction also represents the first time that a sukuk has been used to pre-fund the acquisition of aircraft and the first ever sukuk financing for A380 aircraft, Emirates said.

“We continually look for solid and innovative opportunities in the global market to finance our growing aircraft fleet, and we are very pleased with the tremendous response to this landmark transaction,” said Nirmal Govindadas, Emirates senior VP, Corporate Treasury.

Emirates said the deal attracted interest from a diverse group of conventional and Islamic investors.

Govindadas added: “The strong and diversified investor demand for the offering is a testament to investor confidence in the strength of the Emirates franchise.”

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