French bank Natixis and personal insurer CNP Assurances have entered into a co-financing agreement for future projects.

The agreement will see the pair partner on infrastructure projects arranged by Natixis. CNP will have the option of providing a portion of the debt, but won’t be providing cover for any of the deals.

Benjamin Sirgue, global head of aircraft, export and infrastructure finance at Natixis confirms to GTR that the infrastructure sectors covered will be transportation and social, power and renewables, natural resources, and offshore and telecoms. The agreement will cover projects only in the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

CNP has targeted a project debt spread of up to €3bn over three years and will look to take tickets between €50 and €150mn. The move is indicative of the view within the institutional investment community that trade and project finance are stable and long-term investment opportunities.

Sirgue explains: “Many investors wonder how to access this asset class, which is of interest to them in terms of duration and diversification: they can act alone, hire a large team and become a banker, invest in funds from managers or establish a partnership with banks. But the maturation of the transactions can be quite long and the asset life of infrastructure assets is binding for a management company. This is why we have developed such a platform. Investors are partnering with a bank with a strong expertise in infrastructure and with an alignment of interest in the long-term.”