02.28.2012 / SPECIAL REPORTS

Looking back on 2011; preparing for the future

Affected in 2011 by the European sovereign debt crisis, the dry-up of liquidity in US dollars and the tightening of Basel 3 regulatory requirements, Crédit Agricole CIB announced on 14th December 2011 an adaptation plan with measures to adapt to the new environment. This plan implies a refocusing on large strategic clients, a geographical refocusing and a diversification of refinancing sources.

Serving the financing of the real economy, Crédit Agricole CIB chose to adapt to prepare better for the future.


After three good quarters, the financing business lines began to feel the financial effects of more costly liquidity and the increased selectivity of new transactions.

In project finance, among international banks, Crédit Agricole CIB was ranked the third lead arranger globally and the first lead arranger for the EMEAEurope, the Middle East and Africa region (Project Finance International, 2011). In rail finance, for the first time the Bank was named "Rail Finance House of the Year 2011" (Jane’s Transport Finance, November 2011).

In the syndication market, Crédit Agricole CIB consolidated its position as the leader in France in bookrunning and was second in the EMEA region. The Bank was also ranked sixth globally excluding the United States (Thomson Reuters, 2011).

In commercial banking, the Bank maintained its presence with its top-priority clients, assisting them in their cash financing and guarantee issuance transactions despite liquidity constraints. In June 2011, it was awarded the first prize among financial institutions for USD payment instruction systems (SWIFT MT103 messages), granted each year by JP Morgan.

Investment banking

The mergers and acquisitions business line advised its large clients on their international development while capitalising on its sector expertise in particular in luxury goods, consumer goods and telecoms, media and technology. It also strengthened its involvement in transactions in Europe on behalf of large foreign clients, in particular those from Asia. Crédit Agricole CIB confirmed its leading position in the field - notably for real estate - and was ranked tenth in announced mergers and acquisitions deals in France (Thomson Reuters, 2011).

Equity Capital Markets assisted its clients in their projects to acquire listings in Asia, in particular in Hong Kong. Crédit Agricole CIB played a major role in the IPO of Prada S.p.A. on the Main Board of Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This transaction was named "Asian Equity Deal of the Year" and "Global IPO of the Year" (IFR, December 2011). The Bank was ranked third bookrunner on the Equity Capital Markets in France (Thomson Reuters, 2011).

Capital markets and brokerage

Despite the persistence of the financial crisis and the uncertainties on Europe, the capital markets activities held up well over the year with, however, mixed results depending on the product line. Treasury activities were affected, especially at the end of the year, by the liquidity crisis whereas interest rates, credit and derivative products with multiple underlyings continued to develop in the area of flow activities while maintaining a strong capability for innovation. Inflation-indexed product activities also performed well. Crédit Agricole CIB was ranked fourth in the French secondary market for indexed bonds by the Agence France Trésor at the end of November 2011.

The debt and credit market activity continued to gain market share in euro-denominated bonds. Crédit Agricole CIB was ranked the fifth bookrunner on international euro-denominated bonds (Thomson Financial, 2011).

The Bank was also recognised as the second-best bank for its covered bonds activity at Euroweek’s "Cover Awards" in September 2011.

Despite the volatile environment, foreign exchange activities generated consistently solid revenues.

The brokerage activity suffered from a deteriorated environment, particularly in Europe at CA Cheuvreux. 2011 saw the signing of a partnership agreement with CITICS aimed at creating a global leader in brokerage, with solid local presence to better serve clients and investors everywhere in the world. CITICS is set to become a minority shareholder in CLSA and CA Cheuvreux with equity interests of 19.9%. The activation of the agreement is subject to obtaining the usual regulatory authorisations.

Private banking

The holding company Crédit Agricole Private Banking was created in 2011 and groups most of the Crédit Agricole group’s direct private banking activities. It has consolidated its strengths faced with its competitors and speaks with a single voice to provide its French and international clients a high standard of quality.

Crédit Agricole Luxembourg Private Banking has expanded into Spain with a branch operation and into Italy with a fiduciary subsidiary. The tenth anniversary of Crédit Agricole Luxembourg Conseil, its wealth and financial engineering subsidiary, confirmed its accomplishments and its successful adaptation to the new international environment.

In 2011 Crédit Agricole (Suisse) SA created Direct Access, a personalised order-taking service. New discretionary management mandates dedicated to Latin America and Asia were developed in order to bring investors closer to their reference market. Crédit Agricole (Suisse) SA also introduced an Asian Private Equity offer.

The migration of Crédit Foncier Monaco (CFM) to the S2i platform was carried out in January 2011. CFM Monaco also put in place a platform with Uruguay. This platform is a perfect example of multiple-marketplace cooperation between the Group’s different private banking locations. CFM Monaco also strengthened its product range with the creation of a Private Equity unit, which works closely with the centre of expertise at Crédit Agricole (Suisse) SA and handles fund promotion and co-investment transactions with the Bank’s large investors.

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