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Investors diversify in crisis

Investors are now more risk averse, leading to greater investment in assets such as real estate, says CEO of Credit Agricole Suisse (Bahamas) Ltd. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Smart investors are diversifying their assets to offset the damaging effects of the worldwide financial crisis, according to chief executive officer of The Bahamas branch of Credit Agricole Suisse, Antoine Candiotti.

Candiotti, who has served as CEO of Credit Agricole Suisse (Bahamas) Ltd since 2010, says investors are now more risk averse, leading to greater investment in assets such as real estate.

“At all times there is a risk-return question, but nowadays the risk aspect has become much more important.”

People are moving away from financial investments because of poor return and more are turning to real estate, especially coming from emerging markets where they are used to high return, says Candiotti.

According to the banker, who is also a director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB), the downturn will continue to shake international markets and investors should be protecting against future inflation.

“Since I became a banker in the late 1980s we have been through many crises,” he says. “This crisis has had much deeper consquences, which are still unfolding. They have forced governments in matured economies to rescue banks and take the initiative to avoid a dramatic recession, but this initative has been taken at the price of huge sovereign debt.”

On the monetary side, quantitative easing has been necessary to protect growth, but this is not good news for the financial investor, he says.

“All the governments are printing money, [so] you need to protect your investment against this potential inflation.”

In terms of The Bahamas domestic economy, the CEO is confident that it can recover, saying: “The Bahamas’ main economy is tourism and there have been some huge developments such as Baha Mar and Albany.”

He also predicts that the country’s second largest economic driver, financial services, will see positive results from the creation of the new Ministry of Financial Services, headed by Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder.

“The new Minister of Financial Services has some ambitious plans for the development of this industry, so I am quite optimistic.”


A 20-member strong private sector group is travelling to Haiti this week to foster trade ties with the nation. Watch a ZNS report here.

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