South Korea's aircraft finance sector is likely to grow this year, industry officials said Thursday, amid increased demand from air traffic passengers.
Yoo Byung-soo, who handles aircraft finance at KTB Investment & Securities, said he expects the country's aircraft finance market to reach between 4 trillion won (US$3.5 billion) and 4.5 trillion won this year.
Last year, South Korea's aircraft finance market was estimated to be worth 2.5 trillion won.
KTB Investment & Securities said it purchased A330-300 aircraft from a German leasing company at about $85 million in December for private equity products for institutional investors.
In August, the South Korean securities firm concluded a $85.6 million deal to buy an A330-300 aircraft, which is being operated by Singapore Airlines, from a Chinese leasing company.
KTB Investment & Securities said it and the Chinese leasing company plan to sell the aircraft after a six-year lease is finished.
Meanwhile, Meritz Securities Co. said it has joined hands with Japan's Mizuho Securities in signing a financing deal worth $982 million to buy 20 aircraft from GE Capital Aviation Services, the U.S. and Irish commercial aircraft financing and leasing business of GE.
The 20 aircraft are being leased to budget airlines around the world.
Boeing Capital Corporation said on its website that global passenger traffic continues to show remarkable strength and aircraft finance markets are expected to remain strong in 2017.
"As in recent years, we fully anticipate the global aircraft finance industry to grow and innovate to meet this rising demand, resulting in the continued availability of a deep and diverse set of financing sources," said Boeing Capital Corporation. (Yonhap)