Boeing Calls For Help to Investors In Mideast to Fund Deals


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Boeing Calls On Investors In Mideast to Fund Deals




DOHA, Qatar- Boeing Co. called on cash-rich Middle East banks and investors Wednesday to help plug any potential financing shortfall of its aircraft as European banks reel from the region's sovereign debt crisis.
"The current European sovereign debt crisis, and its expected impacts on European banks, gives new impetus to aircraft investment opportunities for Middle East investors," Boeing said in a statement following its annual aircraft finance conference in the region.
Boeing stopped short of forecasting a gap in funding as the company and rival Airbus gear up production on their huge order books. Some European banks are pulling back from a role that has seen them account for around a fifth of commercial aircraft finance in recent years.
The company's latest guidance to investors envisages funding from commercial banks becoming more difficult to source-and more expensive-over the next two years.
Boeing said it is now worried about an "expected pullback" from these European lenders, as fears mount about their exposure to indebted countries in the euro zone.
This comes a day after Dubai-based Emirates Airline's president Tim Clark said that some French banks that have long helped fund its huge aircraft investment program are showing signs of retreating in the face of the region's sovereign debt crisis.
Emirates didn't identify the banks.
Recent speculation surrounding liquidity of French banks, including BNP Paribas SA and Société Générale SA-both big players in aircraft finance-has raised questions over their near-term role in the sector.
"I'm not unduly concerned," said Mr. Clark of Emirates's ability to finance dozens of widebody jets due for delivery over the next few years.
Many Gulf-based lenders are flush with cash after years of rising oil prices. Emirates and government-funded Qatar Airways are two of the fastest-growing airlines in the world.
-Doug Cameron contributed to this article.



 
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