April 20 (Bloomberg) -- GE Money, General Electric Co.'s consumer-finance arm, is expanding in Canada in a bid to capture 10 percent of the country's C$10 billion ($8.8 billion) market for high-risk mortgages, said Stephen Motta, chief executive of the Canadian unit.
The finance company plans to sell mortgages through independent brokers across Canada by year-end, and is trying to hit its market share target in three years, he said. GE Money started selling mortgages in Ontario last year, and has since become licensed in Alberta and British Columbia.
``We're on a pretty significant growth trajectory, but growing from zero,'' Motta, 43, said in a telephone interview. ``It is a longer-term vision we have for the Canadian market, rather than bursting on the scene, making some noise, and not being here three years from now.''
GE Money, a unit of the world's No. 2 company by market value, is competing with firms such as Toronto-based Xceed Mortgage Corp. Xceed estimates the so-called ``near prime'' market that GE Money is targeting may grow to about C$60 billion, or 10 percent of Canada's overall mortgage market.
Canada's mortgage business is growing as job and wage increases fuel expansion in the economy, which the Bank of Canada predicts will grow 3.1 percent in 2006, the fastest in six years. New home construction during the first three months of the year was the highest in more than 18 years, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
GE Money and Xceed offer loans at higher interest rates than standard mortgages because their clients are typically self-employed, new to the country or don't have a credit history. GE is focusing on"