The aviation boom in Asia has caught the attention of international finance groups, which are willing to provide loans to fund aircraft purchase, state-run Vietnam News Agency reported Thursday.
Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier, received two new Airbus 321 planes on March 10 as part of its purchase order with the European aircraft manufacturer signed in 2009. The deal was facilitated by a 112 million-U.S.-dollar loan from Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and Deutsche AG, two of the world's biggest lenders in commercial aircraft. Others in the field include the US Bank of America, Natixis and French BNP Paribas.
The French bank is now partnered with 128 air carriers and aircraft chartering corporations all over the world. It has made the financial arrangements worth tens of billions of dollars for the procurement of 125 aircraft of various kinds over the last two years.
BNP Paribas has arranged for 270 million dollars credit for VietJetAir to buy three new aircraft. The delivery of these aircraft will happen later this year.
Analysts said current climate is a good for Vietnamese air carriers to obtain loans to increase their fleets. Many Asian banks and finance leasing companies have jumped on the bandwagon, creating fierce competitions in the aviation funding market, and narrowing lenders' profit margins.
The report quoted Jean-Francois Lascombe, a senior executive of Natixis as saying that nowadays, finance groups from Europe and the United States can no longer dominate the aircraft procurement funding field, as banks from China, Australia, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand are now jumping into the fray.
Asian finance groups have realized that the business of funding aircraft procurements is a lucrative one, due to the increasingly high demand for aircraft from the Asian carriers. It is expected that Asian nations will need to purchase 13,000 aircraft, worth 1. 9 trillion dollars over the next 20 years.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China have all set up finance companies in charge of funding aircraft procurements and leasing projects. A part of VietJet Air's plan to buy 63 aircraft has been funded by the China Construction Bank.
Many credit institutions in Asia have also shown their interests in providing loans to Vietnam's aviation sector. These include the Development Bank of Japan, and SMBC, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
Nicolas Parrot, a senior executive of BNP Paribas, noted that the Japanese have returned to the market, which means that BNP Paribas has to look out for the Japanese when considering its deals.
Analysts say that given the appearance of many new financiers in the market, Vietnamese air carriers have more opportunities to implement their ambitious plans to expand their fleets. Local carrier VietJet Air, for example, in 2013 signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of 100 planes worth over 9.1 billion U.S. dollars.