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November 2, 2011 -

BNP Paribas closed first US-Exim guaranteed bond in Asia Pacific for Air China

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– USD 135,312,089 Secured Notes Due 2023 issued by Purple Chen 2011 LLC and Guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States of America

BNP Paribas announces the completion of the first US-Exim guaranteed bond in Asia Pacific. The issue size is US$135,312,089. The proceeds will be used to re-finance a financial lease structure which was used to finance the purchase of a new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft by Air China Limited, delivered on 13 October 2011.

The offering of Export-Import Bank of the United States of America (US Exim) guaranteed notes in US dollars will be due in 2023. The notes were issued by Purple Chen 2011 LLC, a lessor set up within an aircraft financing structure for Air China, and were placed entirely in the US market with book size USD142million, priced at a coupon of mid-swap rate plus 105 basis points or 2.735% for a final tenor of 11.25 years with average life 6.28 years. BNP Paribas acted as the sole bookrunner and structuring agent for this transaction.

This is the first cross border capital market issuance for the benefit of Air China as well as the first US Exim guaranteed bond in US Dollars in 2011. It also marked the re-opening of the US Exim guaranteed bond market since their last USD transaction in December 2010 and since the downgrade of the US Government rating to AA+ by Standard & Poor’s in August 2011.

Bob Hawley, Head of Fixed Income for Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas commented on the deal, “This is the ninth similar deal arranged by BNP Paribas for the aviation industry. The success of the deal demonstrated, once again, our position as the leader in financing solutions and it allowed us to expand our pool of clients to Asia Pacific with the participation of China’s leading airline Air China.”

Jingjing Yao, Senior Manager of Finance Department at Air China added “It’s a pleasure to work with BNP Paribas on this first deal issued in the market by an Asia Pacific based airline and the first US Exim financing for a Chinese airline without a Chinese government owned bank guarantee, we are glad to be able to further develop and explore a wider source of funding. The notes also offered us a relatively low funding cost as the coupon is the lowest when comparing to transactions with equivalent average life since the product began in October 2009.”

About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas ( is one of the best rated banks in the world*. The Group has a presence in more than 80 countries and more than 200,000 employees, including more than 160,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across the Europe-Mediterranean zone and boasts a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia.
*Rated AA- by Standard & Poor’s.

About Air China
Air China is the only airline company which carries the national flag. It became a member of Star Alliance in December 2007 and it is also the airline partner of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It has the first rank of brand value among domestic airline companies and it leads domestic counterparts in passenger and freight air transport and related services. Air China operates routes covering 29 countries and districts, including 91 domestic destinations and 50 international and regional destinations through its strong and balanced global route network with Beijing as the major hub.

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