AMR wants to keep control over bankruptcy through March 11

Updated 02 December 2012
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AMR wants to keep control over bankruptcy through March 11

NEW YORK: American Airlines' bankrupt parent has asked a judge to extend by six weeks, through March 11, the period in which it has the exclusive right to propose a plan to exit bankruptcy.
The request, made jointly with its creditors' committee, was filed on Friday in US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. The current exclusive window is set to end on Jan. 28.
AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy a year ago in hopes of reducing labor costs and returning to profitability.
Its smaller competitor, US Airways Group Inc., is making a push to acquire it out of bankruptcy. AMR said earlier this year it would prefer to exit as a standalone company, but is discussing merger options, including with US Airways.
Friday's filing is a sign that discussions with creditors on how to bring AMR out of bankruptcy are progressing cooperatively, if a bit slower than initially expected.
"American and the (creditors' committee) believe that the proposed extensions will facilitate the expedition of the chapter 11 cases and benefit all parties in interest," the filing said.
Sean Collins, a spokesman for American, said in a statement that the company "has made significant progress in its restructuring."
"The work, while progressing well, takes time," he said.
The exclusivity period bars creditors and other parties from proposing their own plans for how AMR should exit bankruptcy.
That effectively blocks US Airways from making a hostile bid, as any merger plan unveiled during exclusivity would have to be proposed by AMR itself.
AMR's pilots union, in the midst of bitter contract talks with the company, supports a US Airways merger and called Friday's extension request a sign that "things are proceeding in a positive way."
"We assume that the strategic alternative talks, which include US Airways, are functional," union spokesman Dennis Tajer said.
A hearing on the extension request is set for Dec. 19.
The case is In re AMR Corp et al, US Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-15463.


Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

Updated 23 April 2019
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Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. plans up to $1.07bn sukuk sale this year

  • The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios
  • SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year

RIYADH: Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co. (SRC), modelled on US mortgage finance firm Fannie Mae, aims to issue up to 4 billion riyals ($1.07 billion) of long-term sukuk this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The plan by SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, comes as it prepares to purchase more home loan portfolios from mortgage financing companies and banks to boost the Kingdom’s secondary mortgage market.

SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year, Fabrice Susini told Reuters in an interview.

“Our strategy is clearly to tap the market twice this year,” he said. “We are really looking at probably issuing something between ... 2 and 4 billion riyal that we may be issuing in two tranches.

He said SRC was looking at sukuk in the 10 to 15-year range, to help minimize refinancing risks. “Generally speaking we are trying to issue as long as possible,” Susini said.

He said the company was assessing whether it could also issue bonds in currencies other than the local riyal.

In March, SRC completed a 750 million riyal sukuk issue with multiple tenors, under a program that allows it to issue up to 11 billion riyals of local currency denominated Islamic bonds.

“The rule of the game for us is, like many projects across the Kingdom, attract liquidity from foreign investors,” Susini said.

He said SRC had spent 1.2 billion riyals from its balance sheet buying mortgages from local mortgage financing companies and provided liquidity to these firms.

It has also signed initial accords with several commercial banks to acquire housing mortgage portfolios.

Saudi Arabia’s housing ministry is targeting the mortgage market to reach a total value of 502 billion riyals by 2020 from around 300 billion riyals now.

The government wants to increase activity in the real estate market as it moves to revitalize the economy and is taking steps to reform the sector as part of its 2030 reform plan.

It has been working with developers and local banks to counter a shortage of affordable housing — one of the country’s biggest social and economic problems. Saudi Arabia wants 60 percent of its nationals to own homes by 2020, up from 47 percent in 2016.

The size of real estate financing relative to its gross domestic product is 5 percent in Saudi Arabia compared to 69 percent in the United States, 74 percent in the United Kingdom and 43 pct in Canada, the housing ministry has said.

“The goal of SRC in this market was to make sure that we will be able to refinance at least around 10 percent of the market in 2020, and 20 percent of the market by 2028,” Susini told Reuters.