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from Breakingviews:

Aircraft leasing flies back into vogue in Asia

By Peter Thal Larsen

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Aircraft leasing is flying back into vogue in Asia. Many Western groups jettisoned the business of buying and renting out planes after the financial crisis. Now China’s sovereign wealth fund and tycoon Li Ka-shing are considering climbing on board. Strong forecast demand for aircraft explains the appeal – as long as finance is cheap and reliable.

Aircraft finance has suffered plenty of turbulence in the past six years. Insurer AIG and Royal Bank of Scotland sold their leasing subsidiaries to raise capital, while new regulations have discouraged big banks from providing the long-term loans required to pay for new jets.

Yet demand for planes remains buoyant. Consultancy Ascend forecasts that the industry will buy 35,000 new commercial jets at a cost of almost $4 trillion over the next two decades. Growth in China is likely to be particularly rapid. The People’s Republic counted just 1.5 passenger aircraft for each million people at the end of last year. The United States has 17.

from Breakingviews:

Malaysia throws airline investors a parachute

By Peter Thal Larsen

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Malaysia has thrown shareholders in its troubled airline a parachute. The country’s state investment fund is offering 1.4 billion ringgit ($436 million) to take Malaysian Airline System private. The deal gives investors a price the company’s shares haven’t closed at since February, before the already-ailing carrier was struck by double disasters. Taxpayers and employees may be less fortunate.

from Breakingviews:

India’s Jet a better bet than Kingfisher for Etihad

By Andy Mukherjee and Una Galani

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is spoilt for choice in India: It could decide to be a white knight to billionaire Vijay Mallya’s beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines. Or the Gulf carrier could snap up a smaller stake in Jet Airways, which controls a quarter of the domestic Indian market. The latter looks the better bet.

from Breakingviews:

China Inc helps AIG streamline, at a price

By John Foley

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Bob Benmosche is making AIG more aerodynamic - at a price. The U.S. insurer has agreed to sell its aircraft leasing business to a Chinese-led group for a valuation of $5.3 billion. AIG’s own shareholders will probably forgive their chief executive for the mean headline number and the lack of a clean exit, and focus on the fact that AIG is a step closer to independence from its government shareholder.

from Breakingviews:

Diageo’s India splash won’t get Kingfisher flying

By Andy Mukherjee

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Diageo’s $2.1 billion acquisition of United Spirits has helped India’s largest liquor company and its chairman Vijay Mallya. But hopes that Kingfisher Airlines will fly again simply because the grounded carrier’s flamboyant founder has raised some cash look overoptimistic.

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