Emirates` financial team, led by Corporate Treasurer Riyaz Peermohamed, was named “Global Treasury Team of the Year”. The Dubai-based international airline also received the Middle East/Africa “Deal of the Year” award.
More than 150 international financial leaders from airlines, aircraft manufacturers, banks and institutional investors were present at the awards ceremony to hear Alasdair Whyte, Airfinance Journal Editor, say: “Emirates is one of the most innovative airlines, and these awards continue to demonstrate how much the financial markets respect Emirates and its management team.”
This was the fifth time running that Emirates has won Airfinance Journal`s “Deal of the Year”, regarded as an Oscar for the airline financial industry.
Last year Emirates` financial team launched its first bond issue, mandated the first combined export credit and Islamic lease financing, and closed Japanese and German operating leases for five A330 aircraft.
Emirates broke new ground last July when it issued its first corporate bond, marking the first occasion when a bond was issued by United Arab Emirates Corporation and listed on the Dubai financial market. The UAE Dirhams bond issue ($400 million dollars) was managed by HSBC Financial Services and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
Reporting on the award, Airfinance Journal cited Emirates` innovative $88.6 million deal to combine an Islamic lease with an export credit loan - the first time this combination had been used to finance an aircraft. The transaction was arranged by HSBC and included financing provided by Dubai Islamic Bank, National Bank of Dubai and British Arab Commercial Bank.
The same deal had already received two previous awards. In February 2002, Euromoney magazine awarded Emirates its coveted “Aircraft Financial Deal of the Year” while in December 2001 Institutional Investor magazine named it “Global Leasing Deal of the Year”.
Emirates has been growing at an average rate of 20 per cent a year and plans to increase its fleet from 37 aircraft to 100 by the year 2010. Last November it placed a $15 billion order for 58 Boeing and Airbus aircraft, followed by a $1.5 billion order for new engines.
It serves 58 destinations in 41 countries around the world and plans to start services to the USA in June 2003. It has won more than 200 awards since it was founded in 1985.