European Fund News: Exane, Julius Baer, Edifice Capital

Exane suffers from its ties with BNP Paribas
The investment company Exane, last year, renewed its partnership agreement, signed in 2004, by which BNP Paribas took half of the capital and conferred to Exane the exclusive intermediary role for European equities. The managers and employees still holding the other half of the capital might regret this deal as Standard & Poor’s has decided to lower the long term rating of BNP Paribas(by one notch to double A minus from double A) because of disturbances on refinancing and the negative sentiments in the markets. S&P also expects that BNP Paribas and other French banks to report lower earnings. While BNP Paribas group still remains among the top rated , difficult funding conditions in markets weakened its financial profile, and that cause Exane to suffer as well. Moody’s has lowered the rating of the brokerage firm, Exane, from a3 to Baa1 to reflect its dependence on the group for the majority of its working capital needs.

Six Months Later: USMI, SNDS, BNPC

Julius Baer in expansion
Julius Baer is in interested in acquiring the controlling stake in private bank Sarasin whose majority shareholder is the Dutch Bank Rabobank. It is reported that Julius Baer Group already made a bid for the Swiss private bank Sarasin.

Meanwhile, Julius Baer is accelerating its expansion in Asia in alliance with Macquarie. The Swiss bank will rely on banking business of the Australian group. In return, the private banking unit, Macquarie Private Wealth Asia, will be bought by Julius Baer. The establishment Zurich employs about 500 people in Asia,

Edmond de Rothschild sells Private equity Select
According to Agefi and FT, Edmond de Rothschild sold its private equity fund of funds business to management, specialized in the funds of SME (small medium sized enterprises) as it tries to meet to tighter capital requirements as a result of changes in the regulatory and market environment.

David Seligman, based in London, a former SG Warburg banker, have bough Rothschild’s 75 per cent stake in Private Equity Select held by La Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild Banque SA, an investor in small European buy-out funds with $277m in assets under management. The fund will be renamed Seligman Private Equity Select.

Edifice Capital Launches 3 PPP(partnership of public-private) Pan-African Fund
Edifice capital, Management Company dedicated to infrastructure funds, active in euro zone area but also in Morocco, Mediterranean countries, Central and West Africa.
In the North African market infrastructure, Edifice Infra Morocco has just completed its first investment in mining silica sand. In addition, Edifice Capital will launch two pan-African funds by the end of the year: an agricultural fund and an infrastructure fund with sponsor as a sovereign fund. An initial investment in the agricultural sector in Africa, a plantation and processing plant of Stevia (natural sweetener with 0 calories), with the Stevia Growers Group International was recently made

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