MIPIM 2009: Crédit Agricole to expand indirect property funds business

The French bank's real estate asset management group is taking advantage of a change in domestic laws allowing it to access a wider pool of capital, not just French retail investors.

Crédit Agricole Asset Management, the French investment company, is making a bigger push into the indirect property market.

The company, which is an exhibitor at this year's MIPIM property show, is ramping up its coverage after a change in French law enabled such organisations to invest money not just from retail investors but from a wider choice of capital sources.

New structures of holding property, called Organisme de Placement Collectif en Immobilier (OPCI), were introduced in France in 2005 to provide more flexible operational regulations and possible access to foreign investors.

According to a spokeswoman, Crédit Agricole Asset Management Real Estate would be doing much more in the space following the legislative changes.

It currently manages €4 billion of assets and is the ninth largest listed and unlisted property fund manager in France. Nicolas Simon is chief executive of the property unit.