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News : Qatar First Bank and Novus Aviation Capital partner in an aircraft lease deal to acquire two Boeing 737s

– Aircraft to be leased to Indonesia’s Lion Air

Qatar First Bank L.L.C.(Public) (“QFB”), a leading Shari’ah-compliant bank based in Qatar and listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), and Novus Aviation Capital, one of the world’s long standing and fastest growing aircraft leasing platforms, have invested in the global aircraft leasing industry through the indirect acquisition and lease of two 2011 vintage Boeing 737-900ER single-aisle aircraft to Indonesia’s Lion Air.

The transaction will pay for the Investment in two B737-900ERs, the largest variant of Boeing’s hugely successful Next Generation (“NG”) series which is the current production family for the B737.

Commenting on the transaction, Ziad Makkawi, CEO of QFB, said: “We are delighted to have provided our clients, who have shown a strong interest, with this attractive investment. The transaction is in line with our strategy to diversify QFB’s revenue sources. We see opportunities in the aviation industry as it has historically generated relatively predictable returns over the medium to long term, something the market is in search off.”

“The outlook for the leased aircraft type, the B737-900ER, is very favorable which has positive implications for the preservation of its market value, and more importantly will provide strategic investors with recurring and sustained income streams.” Makkawi added.

Makkawi continued: “Our focus since the listing of the bank’s shares on the QSE was on generating steady income and offering shari’ah compliant structured products. This attractive investment fulfils these objectives as the aviation industry has maintained a stable and sustainable growth path in comparison with alternative investment benchmarks.”

The lease agreement will be managed by Dubai-based Novus Aviation Capital, a specialist in aircraft sourcing, trading, leasing and other related services. With a current portfolio of around US$ 3 billion, Novus Aviation Capital has closed over 400 lease and financing agreements valued at US$ 8 billion and has executed aircraft transactions with over 40 major airline companies.

Commenting on the transaction, Safwan Kuzbari, President and CEO of Novus Aviation Capital, said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Qatar First Bank on another landmark aircraft transaction and look forward to further developing our relationship on other attractive yielding aircraft assets,”

Novus Aviation Capital acted as sole arranger for both the financiering and leasing elements of the deal, with QFB exclusively involved in the Islamic financing part of the transaction.

Makkawi concluded: “Deploying capital, alongside our clients, and making investments in selected industries, such as the aviation sector, is an attractive direction in today’s challenging market and economic conditions. We are in the process of structuring several Shari’ah-compliant products to enable our shareholders and clients, private and corporate, to participate in these investments.”

Earlier in May, QFB announced the development of a pioneering open architecture private banking platform, which is set to offer Shari’ah-compliant products including financing, private banking services, innovative investment solutions, as well as family office services covering trusts, foundations, advisory, real estate planning, and statement consolidation. This is in line with QFB’s commitment to offer shareholders and clients the chance to grow, manage and protect their wealth and assets.

Complementing the launch of QFB’s private banking platform, the bank signed an agreement with real estate experts allowing shareholders and clients the ability to source competitive opportunities based on their specific requirements and budget. Adding another milestone, QFB recently announced the completion of 7-12 Leinster Square, a residential real estate development in Leinster Square – London W2.