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FINANCING STRATEGY

Emirates plans bonds to fund new fleet

Dubai, September 17, 2012

Emirates, Dubai's flagship carrier and one of the world's biggest by passenger numbers, plans to issue bonds as part of a broader financing strategy for its aircraft orders worth billions of dollars.

"We have a fleet order to buy planes worth $62 billion, and for sure we will go to the markets to finance these orders, through various financial instruments," President Tim Clark said in an interview on Dubai television late on Sunday.

"Yes, we will issue more bonds in the coming period."

Clark did not provide a specific time frame for bond sales or the amount that the airline was looking to raise.

The airline, part of a matrix of state-owned firms referred to as Dubai Inc, last tapped global debt markets with a five-year $1 billion bond in 2011 with a coupon of 5.125 per cent.

Returning investor confidence in Dubai and global demand for safe-haven debt have significantly tightened spreads since then, meaning a new bond issue under current market conditions would allow Emirates to lower its borrowing costs.

Its existing 2016 bond was yielding about 3.8 per cent on Monday, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"We tell all the investors who plan to buy the bonds that it will be the right decision based on the company's financial position," Clark said.

Emirates' cash balance stood at Dh15.6 billion ($4.25 billion) as of March 31, 2012. In June, the company reported a 72 per cent drop in 2011 net profit following a steep rise in fuel costs.

Emirates has issued Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETCs) this year, targeting mainly U. S. investors, as part of its aircraft financing strategy. The transactions are similar to a form of secured debt financing, like mortgages.-Reuters




Tags: Airline | Dubai | Emirates | strategy | finance |

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