Markets News

Natixis to exit troubled H20 Asset Management partnership

PARIS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - French investment bank Natixis said on Thursday it would seek to unwind its partnership with troubled H20 Asset Management and overhaul its equity derivatives business in a bid to ease investor concerns after posting losses earlier this year.

Natixis appointed a new CEO this summer and is working to strengthen governance and risk controls at its asset management business after H20 Asset Management, of which the bank owns 50%, suffered outflows due to concerns over illiquid holdings.

“Natixis IM and H2O AM are in discussions concerning the progressive and orderly unwinding of their partnership,” Natixis said in a statement.

The bank swung to a profit of 39 million euros in the third quarter although revenue fell 16% to 1.76 billion euros, below an analyst forecast of 1.81 billion in an IBES estimate from Refinitiv.

Corporate and investment banking revenue was down 10%, while equity trading revenue came in at 34 million euros following trading losses linked to the coronavirus crisis in the previous two quarters.

The bank said it would exit from most complex products and tighten exposure limits on low to medium risk equity derivatives.

“The results of our corporate and investment banking business will become steadier through the adjustment of our Equity Derivatives positioning and through the reduction of our exposure to the Oil & Gas sector,” Chief Executive Nicolas Namias said.

Natixis said it intended to resume the distribution of dividends in the first half of 2021, subject to European Central Bank recommendations. (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva and Matthieu Protard; editing by David Evans, Kirsten Donovan)