Crédit Agricole CIB has appointed Franck Dargent as head of global markets Asia-Pacific, continuing the bank’s build out of its regional operations after scaling back investments post-financial crisis.
Based in Hong Kong, Dargent will be responsible for the overall business development and strategy of the global markets division’s activities in Asia-Pacific. He will report globally to Thomas Gadenne, head of global markets, and locally to Marc-André Poirier, senior regional officer for Asia-Pacific.
The global markets division handles all the sales and trading activities of standard and structured market products for corporate, financial institution and large issuers.
“Asia is a strategic region for Crédit Agricole CIB,” said Gadenne in the press release. “In view of the growing demand for capital markets products in the Asian market, the appointment of Franck reflects our commitment to further strengthen our Asian franchise and to capture the increasing business opportunities in the region.”
Dargent has held various positions in the Crédit Agricole group in France and Asia since 1991. Most recently, he was deputy chief executive and global head of business development at Amundi Alternative Investments since 2008.
In 2006, Dargent was appointed senior advisor for the sales team of Crédit Agricole, covering French regional banks. Prior to that, he worked as head of financial institutions sales at Crédit Agricole Indosuez Securities (Japan) in Tokyo from 2002.
European banks have started ploughing back investments into Asia after massively deleveraging from the region back in 2011 – when French financial institutions led the retrenchment in Asia.
Lending by continental European banks to Asia-Pacific, for example, stood at $356 billion at the end of 2011, according to the Bank for International Settlements. That compares with $379 billion at the end of 2010 and is down from a peak of about $455 billion in June 2008.
But things have started changing as the outlook for advanced economies is improving, especially as momentum shifts up a gear in the Eurozone. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in early January that its leading indicator covering 33 member countries pointed to growth firming, reaching its highest level since March 2011.
The euro area saw a “positive change in momentum”, the OECD said, with its reading rising to 101.0 from 100.8, showing improvements in the outlooks for the three biggest economies - Germany, France and Italy.