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News

23 / 03 / 2008

UIB structures deal to invest in 5 additional aircrafts

New acquisition will increase UIB’s aircraft portfolio value to US$ 400 million

Bahrain- based investment bank, United International Bank (UIB) and Novus Aviation have signed a letter of intent with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for investment in five aircrafts through Falak Investments Limited (Falak).

UIB is a Bahrain based investment bank with an authorized capital of US$ 2.5 billion and a paid up capital of US$291 million. Established in the second half of 2006, UIB’s principal line of business is to provide Shari’a compliant private equity and asset based investments to its investors in the GCC. UIB’s shareholders include leading corporate investors and high net-worth individuals from the GCC.

Falak, a joint venture between UIB and Novus Aviation, was set up to invest in a diversified portfolio of aircraft leased to major airlines. Geneva-based, Novus Aviation has over 30 years of global experience in the aviation industry, covering different segments of the commercial jet aircraft business including trading, leasing, financing, management and re-marketing.

Established earlier last year by UIB and Novus Aviation, the Falak portfolio currently comprises of six aircraft on lease to leading Airlines in the GCC and Europe. With the acquisition of an additional five aircrafts, the portfolio will have a total value of approximately US$ 400 million. Leased to major airlines in Europe, India and Asia, the additional five aircraft comprise of A320 family aircraft, B737NG, B747-400, and Embraer ERJ-145.

Mr. Asaad Albanwan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UIB noted: “Our recent investment in five aircraft is in line with UIB’s strategy to provide its investors with Shari’a compliant investment opportunities with strong underlying assets and attractive returns. Aviation leasing offers a stable income with the potential for significant growth and has already generated a lot of interest from investors.”

Abdulla Janahi, General Manager and Acting Chief Executive Officer of UIB said: “Expanding Falak’s portfolio through this investment will provide investors with an even more robust investment opportunity. Our partnership with Novus Aviation will strengthen UIB’s aircraft investment portfolio and support the bank’s initiative to enter new territories.”

Novus Aviation President, Safwan Kuzbari, said, “Falak’s portfolio is diversified on the basis of the various major airlines the aircraft are leased to and also on aircraft type, make and age. Aircraft values have historically followed a cycle of fluctuating prices, but we believe our portfolio with a mix of narrow and wide body aircraft provide adequate protection against any significant variation in the overall values of aircraft in the portfolio.”

Falak is also co-sponsored by the Kuwait- based International Leasing & Investment Co. (ILIC) and First Leasing Bank, Bahrain has joined as a strategic investor.

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