[TOKYO] Japanese aircraft leasing giant SMBC Aviation Capital plans to buy 80 Boeing jets in a deal worth as much as US$8.7 billion, a report said Monday.
Japan's leading Nikkei business daily said the firm, which already has a stable of more than 370 planes, was pursuing the deal on the back of a strong growth in the budget carrier sector.
SMBC Aviation, owned by Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and trading giant Sumitomo Corp., will buy about 80 units of the 737 MAX 8 - a 200-seat, single-aisle, fuel-efficient plane - by 2022, the Nikkei said, without citing sources.
The deal could be worth up to 1.0 trillion yen (US$8.7 billion) at list prices, the report said.
Sumitomo Mitsui President Koichi Miyata and Ray Conner, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, will hold a news briefing in Tokyo later Monday, the two firms said in a joint statement, without elaborating.
In July, SMBC Aviation announced an order from Airbus for 115 single-aisle A320s in a deal worth around US$11.7 billion at list prices.
The expected announcement Monday comes less than a week after a property flagship led by Asia's richest tycoon Li Ka-shing said it planned to buy up to 60 passenger jets in a series of transactions that amount to more than US$2.5 billion.