MARKETS | Cesar Tordesillas, Singapore

Standard Chartered grows Asian aircraft portfolio

Standard Chartered Bank will acquire 14 narrow body aircraft from GE Commercial Aviation Services through its Pembroke Group.The portfolio of 14 aircraft consists of one A320-200 and 13 B737-800s and has an average age of just over one year. All aircraft are currently on long-term lease to airlines in Standard Chartered’s strategic geographic footprint – China, Korea, Kenya and the Philippines.Sean Wallace, Group Head of Corporate Finance, Standard Chartered, said: "The long-term view for the aviation sector remains strong. Despite the current economic environment, many of our key markets in Asia Pacific and Africa are still forecast to deliver healthy traffic growth rates -- with some even set to exceed 6 percent over the next 20 years -- which will continue to drive demand for new aircraft. Our acquisition of these new, in-production and highly marketable, narrow body aircraft further develops our portfolio and enhances our ability to serve our clients in these key markets."Mike Rees, CEO of Wholesale Banking, Standard Chartered, said: "We continue to see opportunities across our markets in the aviation sector, particularly in the areas of aircraft leasing and lease financing. Our acquisition of Pembroke has strengthened our ability to further accelerate our aviation finance business. The purchase of this portfolio reflects our ongoing focus on our strategy of growing our client capabilities within our key geographies and market segments."Pembroke, a leading aircraft leasing, financing and management firm based in Dublin, Ireland, was acquired by Standard Chartered PLC in late 2007 to provide an enhanced platform for the Bank to offer financial solutions and meet the growing demand for aircraft leasing in its markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

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