21 Apr 2013 08:30
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has taken delivery of its first aircraft to be financed by a local UAE bank since 2008.
First Gulf Bank has provided the finance for two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, to
be delivered to Etihad Airways in 2013, through
a Sharia-compliant Ijara Muntahia Bittamleek structure.
The first of these two Boeing aircraft arrived recently
at Abu Dhabi airport from Seattle and the second is expected to be delivered to
Etihad Airways in May 2013.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief
Executive Officer, said: “The strong financial structure and performance of
Etihad Airways ensures that the airline regularly attracts funding from banks
and institutions from around the world, as well as from across the Gulf region.
“The financing of these two aircraft is an important development
as it shows First Gulf Bank’s support of Etihad Airways’ fleet expansion as
well as our commitment to working as much as possible with local UAE and Middle
The total facility value offered by First Gulf Bank is
approximately US$359 million and it has a financing structure term of 12 years.
Within the agreement, First Gulf Bank participates as the Initial Lead
Arranger, the Underwriter, the Facility Agent and the Security Trustee.
Andre’ Sayegh, First Gulf Bank’s Chief Executive
Officer, said: “As one of the leading banks in the United Arab Emirates, we
continuously demonstrate our commitment to the nation's economy. Through our
strong financial position; we are proud to support Etihad Airways as they
expand their international reach and contribute to the UAE’s economic progress.
“We will continue to support businesses across the
country and the region in our efforts to support development that maintains and
bolsters the region's growing role in the global economy.”
Etihad Airways issued a request for proposal (RFP)
in September 2012 for the financing of nine aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2013.
The RFP received a positive response from a large number of international
banks, financial institutions and operating lessors.
First Gulf Bank
As a major leading bank in the UAE, First Gulf Bank (FGB) had Shareholder
Equity of AED 29.9 billion as of December 31st, 2012 making it one of the
largest equity based banks in the UAE. Established in 1979 and headquartered in
the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, the bank offers a full range of financial services
to business and consumer sectors throughout an extensive network of branches
across the UAE. Internationally FGB has branches in Singapore and Qatar,
representative offices in India and Hong Kong and a subsidiary in Libya.
Today, FGB is recognised as a world-class organisation committed to
maximising value for shareholders, customers and employees as it focuses on
delivering banking products and services that meet client needs and support the
UAE’s dynamic economy. In line with its commitment to excellence the bank
continues to invest significantly in people and technology to provide superior
service standards. First Gulf Bank was awarded the ‘Best Bank in the United
Arab Emirates for 2012’ by Euromoney.