Local-government agencies: AFL – The new enfant on the bloc
Agence France Locale is making a €1 billion benchmark debut in November.
Agence France Locale will make its stage entrance in November with the launch of a €1 billion benchmark bond.
| We want to show
to all French governments issuing debt that they have their place in AFL
Yves Millardet, CEO, says the issue will show French local authorities and markets that the embryonic agency is “an important actor”. It expects to raise up to €2 billion in 2015.
Critical timing decisions remain in the hands of the French regulator, which is negotiating governance structures with AFL. Says Millardet: “There is no similar organisation in France. We are having to explain our shareholder structure.”
AFL aims to represent 25% of the French market in local authority debt, a total of €4 billion. Millardet says: “This gives us a chance to affect pricing for the whole market.”
The collapse of French bank Dexia was one impetus to establishing AFL. Dexia was providing 50% of the liquidity in the market; its local authority debt is now being wound down through a bad bank created out of the Dexia shell. Covered bonds are currently provided to local authorities by La Banque Postale.