China Minsheng Leasing Inks MoU for Gulfstreams
Gulfstream Aerospace confirmed yesterday that a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) for midsize and large-cabin Gulfstreams was inked late last week with China’s Minsheng Financial Leasing. The Chinese aircraft leasing firm is a venture formed in April 2008 by China Minsheng Banking and Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone Investment. According to reports, the MoU covers up to 50 Gulfstreams–an unspecified mix of G250s, G450s, G550s and G650s–worth a potential $2.6 billion. Neither Gulfstream nor Minsheng would confirm the number of aircraft covered by the agreement, but spokesmen for the companies also did not contradict the widely reported figure. The MoUs are expected to be converted into firm orders over the next three to five years. Beijing-based Minsheng had placed orders for 17 business jets as of the end of last year, and has already taken delivery of at least one–a Gulfstream G450. The company is due to receive a further unspecified number of aircraft from Savannah, Ga.-based Gulfstream by the end of next year. Other types ordered so far are understood to include aircraft from Cessna, Dassault Falcon and Hawker Beechcraft. Minsheng has registered capital of RMB 2.3 billion ($480 million). According to the Firestone Management Group, there were 116 business jets registered in China (including Hong Kong and Macau) as of January this year. Minsheng president Zhang Bo told a conference in London earlier this year that he expects this number to reach 170 by year-end.