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StanChart weighing options, including sale, of aircraft lessor unit

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Standard Chartered said it is looking to explore alternative options, including a sale, for its aviation finance unit, which it said represents around 2% of its group income.

The UK-headquartered bank’s aircraft leasing business in Ireland owns and manages a portfolio of more than 120 planes on lease to 30 airlines, according to its website.

“We believe that a new owner can drive the next phase of growth whilst we continue to focus on our commitment to improve shareholder returns and delivering on our 2024 targets,” Simon Cooper, CEO of StanChart’s corporate, commercial & institutional banking business, said in a statement on Wednesday.

StanChart’s aviation financing business was ranked as the 21st biggest lessor based on the $3.7 billion market value of its fleet in publisher Airfinance Journal’s 2022 rankings.

The global aircraft leasing business is facing challenges of inflation and rising borrowing costs even as aviation demand rebounds. The sector has gone through a big consolidation in the last few years, with private equity firms also jumping in to buy smaller lessors and large players bulking up.

StanChart is working with J.P. Morgan Securities plc as its financial advisor on the potential transaction.

(Reporting by Anshuman Daga and Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee, Jason Neely and Tomasz Janowski)