Emergence as key financing partner

Following the merger of BNP and Paribas in 2000, the combined Bank s Bahrain operations began to build scale, offering a full suite of corporate and institutional banking services and investment solutions.

BNP Paribas stood out particularly for international trade services, project finance and its roles in high profile projects and capital markets transactions.

Philippe Calafat was in Bahrain at the time of the merger and says the move sparked a period of rapid growth: The impact of the move was particularly strong in Bahrain, where the two banks were both doing business with a modest number of employees You can see what a long way we ve come since the merger, we ve really built scale.

One of the most important activities at the branch has been international trade, and in 2002 the Bank opened a trade centre, which was inaugurated on 10 April, by Jacques Desponts, BNP Paribas Group Head of International Trade, at a ceremony attended by H.E. Sheikh Ahmad bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA); H.E. Sheikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa, Vice-Minister for Trade; and Anita Limido, France s ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

During the 2000s, BNP Paribas played a leading role in the development of industrial projects, particularly in financing the expansion of the Kingdom of Bahrain s burgeoning aluminium industry, by serving as an advisor and arranging multiple major export credit facilities.

Today, BNP Paribas is proven as a resilient global bank with an on-the-ground presence in all major markets listening to its clients and matching their constantly growing and changing needs. These traits were recognised in 2012, when BNP Paribas was awarded the Bank of the Year award by IFR, a prominent Thomson Reuters finance publication.

Capital markets expertise

As a long-standing partner in Bahrain, BNP Paribas was in a prime position to advise the government for its first-ever international sovereign bond issue.

In November 2002, the Ministry of Finance and National Economy awarded a mandate to BNP Paribas to act as co-lead manager for a sovereign bond issue to be quoted on the London Stock Exchange. The issue, launched on 20 January 2003, was oversubscribed several times.

In 2010, the Kingdom of Bahrain once again tapped the international markets with a 10-year bond, in which BNP Paribas played a key role as joint book runner. This landmark transaction was the first sovereign issue out of the GCC region in 2010, and the Kingdom

141F I V E C O M M I T T E D PA R T N E R S H I P S