HONG KONG—China Aircraft Leasing Co., the Hong Kong-based lessor partly owned by state-owned conglomerate China Everbright, 0165.HK -2.76%is planning an initial public offering in the city so it can buy more aircraft at a time when European banks are retreating from the business of leasing jets.
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China Aircraft Leasing Chief Executive Mike Poon told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview that his company wants to have a fleet of 100 aircraft by 2015, from 16 currently, and an IPO will go toward funding that growth. He didn't elaborate on a time frame.
"We hope to become one of the world's major aircraft leasing companies by 2020," he said. "We're qualified for a listing in terms of profitability, but listing will depend on market conditions," he said. Hong Kong's stock exchange requires a three-year profit track-record for a company to list.
China Aircraft Leasing's total assets, of mainly narrow-body jets such as the Airbus A320, A321, as well as Boeing Co.'s 737-800s, are valued at $800 million, Mr. Poon said.
Chinese aircraft financing firms have been growing rapidly with rising demand for aircraft in China, even as the economy slows. These companies have taken on a bigger share of the market, as the traditional leading lenders of aircraft, European banks, pull back due to pressure to bolster their capital.
"Many of our competitors as well as other airlines have been retreating from the market…that has given us opportunities to secure aircraft assets at a quicker pace," Mr. Poon said.
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