* Shares rise as much as 9.2 pct
* China’s CDB Leasing loan to fund sales of Embraer jets
* Embraer has been struggling with weak aviation market (Recasts first paragraph, adds byline, share prices)
By Elzio Barreto and Guillermo Parra-Bernal
SAO PAULO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Shares of Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer jumped as much as 9.2 percent on Friday after the company signed a $2.2 billion deal with China’s CDB Leasing Co to fund the sale of regional jets in Asia.
CDB Leasing, a unit of state-owned China Development Bank (CDB), will provide funding to airlines in China and Asia and may also buy jets directly from Embraer (EMBR3.SA)(ERJ.N), the Brazilian company said in a statement late on Thursday.
Embraer’s common shares rose as much as 9.2 percent to 9.72 reais in morning trading in Sao Paulo, their biggest intraday jump since early August and their highest level since Oct. 29. The shares were up 8.2 percent at 9.62 reais in early-afternoon trading.
Through Thursday, the shares had risen 1 percent this year.
“Although we have never seen China as a big growth market for Embraer, we see this news as marginally positive as it reflects some relief in the beleaguered commercial aerospace financing market, and also represents new order potential,” Citigroup analyst Stephen Trent wrote in a note to clients.
Analysts have voiced concerns about Embraer’s financial performance in the past six months and are urging management to do more than trim payroll expenses and renegotiate prices with suppliers to cope with the worst crisis in commercial aviation since the end of World War II.
Operating margins will probably hit the lowest level in a decade as measured by U.S. accounting guidelines, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said recently.
“The deal is designed to enhance financing opportunities for acquiring Embraer aircraft in the People’s Republic of China and abroad, focusing on developing regional aviation in China,” Embraer said in its statement.
CDB Leasing has helped fund the purchase of more than 40 aircraft, Embraer said in the statement. (Reporting by Elzio Barreto and Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by John Wallace)