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  1. The two banks have had to face a refusal to participate to the creation of Natixis
  2. Natixis is therefore to become a bank with strong assets and major synergies
  3. A market penetration so far 'underexploited'

The French banking industry has been in the restructuring phase for about five years now. The year 2006 gave the markets another example of this trend. The banking industry will have to deal with a new corporate and investment bank, which is being created by joining units from the Banque Populaire group and Caisse d'Epargne group. Although the stock market had to face the paranoia of the government concerning hostile takeovers, such as Mittal with Arcelor or the attempt to protect Suez from an Italian takeover, the banking system has succeeded in convincing the stock market regulatory body to accept such a big operation between two of France's biggest mutual banks. The arrival of Natixis, the French corporate and investment bank, seems therefore to illustrate both the relationship between the financial world and the institutional regulation bodies, and the global trend of a greater concentration of banks in France. I chose the recent merger of the two banks to create Natixis in order to illustrate the fluctuating relationship between the financial world and institutional regulation bodies such as the Authorite des Marches Financiers or the AMF or even the state, through its stakes in some funds, like the Caisse des Dépôts.

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