Qatar-based bankers and financiers heard today from Boeing and Qatar First Investment Bank that the health of the Middle East’s air-travel industry compared to other global regions continues to drive good investment opportunities in aircraft financing.
“The Middle East was the only part of the world to see air passenger growth during the current downturn. This is a positive sign of industry health which, when combined with reduced competition in the financing marketplace because of current market conditions, creates great opportunities for people with capital who are willing to invest,” said Mr. John Matthews, managing director for the Middle East and Africa at Boeing Capital Corporation, the aircraft manufacturer’s customer financing unit.
Mr. Matthews, along with Mr. Mike de Graffenried, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar First Investment Bank, co hosted the company’s first ever Financier and Investors Qatar Roundtable at the Four Seasons Hotel, Doha. The event saw one of the largest turnouts to date for such a company-sponsored regional roundtable.
The event brought together senior corporate executives of leading financial institutions and investment companies in Qatar. It was part of Boeing’s investor outreach program aimed at energizing and expanding markets for aircraft financing.
The agenda included presentations on the current aviation market environment, Boeing product strategy and an overview of aircraft financing both regionally and internationally.
Boeing noted that while aircraft as an asset class have held up better than most other investment alternatives, the current market disruption has created even better opportunities for savvy investors.
“Financiers willing to take advantage of the short-term market dislocations with a view toward creating a long-term aircraft portfolio should find themselves generously rewarded,” said Matthews.
Boeing uses its roundtable events around the world to link financiers with financing opportunities in its customer airlines. It recognized QFIB for its leadership in co-hosting the groundbreaking Qatar event.
“QFIB is a dynamic and highly-respected banking player in the Middle East who is exploring opportunities in the aviation sector and is interested in staying updated about Boeing products and what they have to offer,” Matthews said.
Mr. de Graffenried commented: “QFIB is pleased to be a partner with a global player in the aviation industry like Boeing. There is great potential for sound investment opportunities in this sector and QFIB aims to develop further understanding of the current dynamics of the aviation industry following the financial crisis.
QFIB hopes to enrich the financial community in Qatar through updates on the developments in the aviation industry, along with investment in aviation as an important and emerging asset class in the region.”
Through its ongoing events, Boeing Capital actively encourages the Middle East’s emergence as an increasingly important source of aircraft financing.
“Aircraft are ideal for Shari’ah compliant financing since a fundamental criterion is that such investments be asset based,” Matthews said. He added that the company continues to focus on seeing if aircraft financing can be included in the Islamic Sukuk, or bond, market.
Boeing’s latest market outlook reports airline industry growth in the Middle East is expected to continue over the next 20 years. The 2009 outlook valued the Middle East market at $300 billion over the next two decades, which translates into an expected need for 1,710 commercial jets.
Qatar First Investment Bank is the first, fully independent Shari’ah compliant investment bank to be authorized by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA). It launched in March 2009 with an authorised capital of QAR 3.65 billion (US$ 1 billion) and a paid up capital of QAR 1.6 billion (US$ 430 million). Qatar First Investment Bank aims to become one of the leading financial institutions in Shari’ah compliant investment banking in Qatar and the GCC.
With over 1,000 investors from Qatar and the GCC, Qatar First Investment Bank has a solid shareholder base made up of prominent individuals as well as institutional investors. These include financial institutions and banks, governments, pension funds and other strategic investors.
Qatar First Investment Bank has a clear, dynamic and focused strategy and operates to the highest regulatory standards. The bank is managed by a select team of multinational investment professionals, with extensive experience working in the GCC and global financial sectors.
Qatar First Investment Bank offers private equity, strategic investments, asset management and corporate finance advisory.
About The Boeing Company and Boeing Capital Corporation:
Boeing is the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined. Additionally, Boeing designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. As a major service provider to NASA, Boeing operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. The company also provides numerous military and commercial airline support services. Boeing has customers in more than 90 countries around the world and is one of the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 150,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries. Total company revenues for 2009 were $68.3 billion.
As a wholly owned Boeing subsidiary, BCC creates financing solutions for customers purchasing the company’s commercial airplane and defense products. As the company’s investment bank, it works closely with third-party financing sources that provide nearly all of the financing support required by Boeing customers. BCC also manages the company’s U.S. $6 billion portfolio of approximately 320 aircraft, many of them newer, fuel efficient jetliners.