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BANKING

Crédit Agricole CIB’s Australia launch shows the allure of an in-vogue market

The firm has joined Barclays and Jefferies, as well as start-ups Jarden Australia and Barrenjoey, in bolstering its presence in Australia. What’s the appeal of this heavily banked market?

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Today’s news (January 4) that Crédit Agricole CIB has opened as a licensed bank in Australia is the latest example of global banks and local entrepreneurs seeing opportunity in this well-trodden market.

Crédit Agricole is not a new name in town: it has operated in Australia since 1982, with a niche in structured finance alongside a presence in infrastructure, real estate and energy and the hedging needs that go with them.

But the new set-up as a bank suggests a different strategy. Corporate lending and investor solutions will be added to the mix, while an onshore presence will be developed in the telecom, health and renewables sectors in particular.

“The new set-up… serves as a platform for future growth of [our] Australian client base – primarily local financial institutions and large corporates, and this will enable the bank to deliver more comprehensive services to clients,” Crédit Agricole says.

The French bank also hopes that it will be able to conduct cross-border business between Australia and its global network, with a particular focus on global multinationals in Japan and Singapore that are active in Australia.

Attractive market

The news follows a decision by Barclays to become a foundation investor in Barrenjoey Capital Partners, a new full-service financial services firm in Australia, in September.

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