CIT generates $170m in Q4 from European ECA deal

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CIT Group's transportation finance division generated proceeds of $170 million in the fourth quarter from the funding of five Airbus aircraft under an existing European export credit agency facility, the parent company indicates in an earnings statement today.

Financing and leasing assets, which include rail and aviation, increased to $14.2 billion in the quarter. New business volume reflects the addition of seven aircraft to the operating lease portfolio as well as $200 million in new loans across the rail and aviation platform, says CIT.

CIT indicates it has lease commitments for 13 of the 15 aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2013. More than 99% of the commercial aircraft fleet was on lease or under commitment at quarter-end.

In December, CIT ordered ten Airbus A350 aircraft with deliveries from 2019 through 2020.

CIT Group reported income of $207 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, improved from $36 million for the year-ago quarter. There was a net loss for the year of $592 million, which includes $1.5 billion of debt redemption charges, compared with net income of $15 million in the year-earlier period.

"We made significant progress in advancing our corporate strategy in 2012," says John Thain, chairman and chief executive officer. "We grew commercial assets, diversified our funding mix, and expanded new business initiatives that further support our small business and middle market clients. We remain focused on positioning CIT for future growth and profitability as we drive operating efficiencies, prudently grow our assets, and expand CIT Bank."

Cash and short-term investments increased to $7.6 billion from $7.2 billion at 30 September.