Emirates to launch bonds issue

Mumbai: Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, has announced that it plans to launch an international bonds issue in 2004.

The issue will be denominated in US dollars, for an initial amount of $400 million, and it will have a maturity of seven years and will offer investors a floating-rate interest.

Says Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum: "We have taken formal steps to issue these inaugural international bonds early in the new year. This will be the first time that Emirates will have a bonds issue listed outside Dubai."

Al-Maktoum says Emirates is preparing for the bonds initially to be listed on Luxembourg. Later the issue will also be listed on the Dubai International Financial Centre once the centre becomes operational.

He adds: "The bonds will be jointly lead managed by HSBC, Emirates Bank International, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and National Bank of Dubai. It is anticipated that other banks will be invited into the deal to join the management group in due course."