The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) along with the Arab Banking Corporation have been mandated by the International Air Finance Corporation (IAFC) as underwriters, bookrunners and lead arrangers of a $400 million murabaha loan for Kuwait Airways Corporation.
The deal, which is IAFC’s inaugural syndicated loan, will finance the provision of five A330-200 aircraft on an operating lease to Kuwait Airways. “This unique transaction also highlights our expertise and expanding foothold in the Islamic finance segment,” Vasgen Edwards, the Global Head of Aerospace and Transport at NBAD, said in a press statement. “We are extremely proud that in the first quarter of this year, NBAD was ranked as the world’s number one bank for managing issuance of international sukuk.” He noted that the aviation industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the West-East corridor “and one of our five top priority sectors for our wholesale banking activity”.
The facility comprises an eight-year term loan secured on the five aircraft and is currently in syndication with an expected closing at the end of May. The borrower is a 100 percent owned subsidiary of a fund managed by IAFC. Earlier this year NBAD co-structured a $913 million UKEF-backed sukuk closed by Emirates Airlines, making it the first time that sukuk had been used to pre-fund the acquisition of aircraft. IAFC is the first sharia compliant aircraft leasing fund dedicated to Airbus aircraft and seed funded by Airbus and Islamic Development Bank. The fund is looking to target GCC, MENA, CIS and Southeast Asian airline carriers.