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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Emirates to close $600m 10-year sukuk 

The airline has tapped the debt market with four issuances since 2011, raising $3.65bn

An Emirates Airline Boeing 777 aircraft takes off from the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Airport in Abidjan on November 28, 2017. The airline is set to issue sukuk to meet aircraft financing needs. / AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO
An Emirates Airline Boeing 777 aircraft takes off from the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Airport in Abidjan on November 28, 2017. The airline is set to issue sukuk to meet aircraft financing needs. / AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO

Emirates, the world's biggest long-haul carrier is set to close a $600m sukuk to be used for general corporate purposes including aircraft financing and working capital, the carrier said in a statement on Friday.

The issuance is set to be repaid in an amortising format over 10 years, with the papers set to mature in March 2028. The sukuk received "a good response from both local and international investors", the airline added.

"We are pleased with the level and quality of interest in this sukuk issuance. Emirates continues to take a diversified approach to our long-term financing strategy and today’s issuance confirms the confidence of international and regional investors in our strong track record, as well as resilient and profitable business model," Nirmal Govindadas, Emirates senior vice president - corporate treasury, said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the airline's group chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed confirmed Emirate's intention to raise $1.1bn in an Islamic bond sale with the proceeds to be used towards aircraft financing. Emirates had agreed to buy 40 Boeing 787s valued at $15.1 billion in list prices at the Dubai Airshow in November last year followed by a $16bn deal for 36 Airbus SE A380 superjumbos in January.

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The airline had launched a roadshow last week to attract investor interest in its latest issuance priced on 15 March at a profit rate of 4.50 per cent, equivalent to 183.2 basis points over the five-year US dollar-denominated mid-swaps.

The certificates are expected to be issued on 22 March and set to be listed and traded on Nasdaq Dubai as well as the Irish stock exchange.

The airline nominated Citi and Standard Chartered banks as global co-coordinators and joint lead managers on the issuance. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, BNP Paribas, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan and Noor Bank also acted as joint lead managers.

Emirates has tapped the debt market with four issuances since 2011, raising $3.65bn, over half of which has been in sukuk.