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Video transcription: Experts' views - Stéphane Caminati

Experts' views - Stéphane Caminati, Head of the Compagnie Européenne de Garanties et Cautions (CEGC), a subsidiary of Natixis and the Groupe BPCE

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What is CEGC’s mission?

[Stéphane Caminati]

We focus on providing bank guarantees. For insurance providers, this means securing transactions, protecting consumers and supporting project financing for different economic players. Acting as a guarantor helps finance the economy in a general sense.
[Inset: A bank guarantee is a three-party operation: the guarantor commits to assume responsibility for the contract in case of default on the part of the debtor, to the benefit of the creditor.]
As guarantor, we facilitate transactions for businesses and individuals. Our company is the BPCE Group’s main multi-disciplinary “bank guarantee” platform, and the only one of its kind in France. Our products and services are distributed by the banks or directly to companies and professionals in all types of industries. All three of our brands - SACEF, CEGI and SOCAMAB - are leaders in their respective markets.

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How is CEGC positioned in the real estate market?

[Stéphane Caminati]

In 2011, we provided guarantees for over 224,000 personal home mortgages, which represent a market share of over 12%. We’ve acted as guarantor for over 20,000 individual houses built in France under a 1990 home construction law, or one out of every three homes. We provide guarantees for real estate developers, property managers, and real estate agents and have issued over 30% of the guarantees under France’s Hoquet Law. We therefore have an especially holistic perspective on the behaviour of the French real estate market.

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What are this market’s prospects over the next few months?

[Stéphane Caminati]

In 2012, we will most likely see a decline in the number of transactions. The behaviour of market prices in France will probably vary by region, with properties in and around Paris and along the coastlines remaining attractive, and more specific behaviour patterns across the rest of the country. First-time home-buyer incentives will still provide support, which will need to be moderated according to first-time buyers’ abilities to qualify for 0% loans and the credit interest rates offered by our partner banking institutions. 2010 and 2011 were record years in terms of real estate credit production. In 2012, the volume of credit offered is expected to decline by close to 20%. However, on the whole, this indicates a return to a long-term market trend.

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