Paris-based Credit Agricole has applied to the Federal Reserve Board to open a representative office in Houston as part of a broader expansion into energy-related financial transactions.

Christian Merle, head of the $360 billion-asset bank's international division, said the move into Dallas will help the bank develop market intelligence and arrange deals that it might not be able to do from its current offices in New York and Chicago. In particular, Credit Agricole executives said that the bank plans to expand lending, risk management, and asset securitization in the oil and gas industry.

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