which consisted of building a 13km elevated highway. BNP Paribas global network and close co-operation between offices also played a key role in winning business with Kuwaiti companies. The relationship continued the following year, with the Bank appointed as financial advisor to KPC subsidiary, Kuwait Petroleum Europoort (KPE). Under the deal, the Bank advised KPE on the establishment of a financing structure to support the expansion of middle distillates production at the company s Europoort refinery, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

As in other Gulf countries, BNP Paribas brought its project financing expertise to bear in Kuwait. In 2013, the Bank was appointed financial advisor to the government of Kuwait on the Al-Khairan Independent Water & Power Project, an ambitious initiative that the government prioritised as part of its national development strategy. Supported by the expertise of project finance teams in Paris, the mandate included structuring, developing the contractual framework and running international tenders for a major thermal greenfield power generation and seawater desalination facility.

BNP Paribas won another financial advisory mandate from the government of Kuwait in the same year, for the Az-Zour North Phase 1 First Independent Water & Power Producer Project, expanding its presence in the critical power sector. In addition to structuring and building a contractual framework for the project, the mandate included running a competitive tender process and debt financing.

In 2014, the Bank acted as joint bookrunner on a five-year senior unsecured bond issuance for KIPCO, their fifth international transaction, four of which were co-led by BNP Paribas.

BNP Paribas Kuwait Country Head, Michel Hamenthienne, explains that Kuwait s ambitious development plans are likely to lead to closer partnerships between BNP Paribas and Kuwaiti institutions and corporates: Oil is the backbone of the economy in Kuwait, and the government is targeting raising production to 4 million barrels per day within the next decade from 3 million now he says.

But the government is also working hard to reduce dependency on oil, by promoting investments in other sectors, and by increasing the role of the private sector, which should accelerate the development process. The National Development Plan foresees spending of over US$100 billion on increasing oil production and on infrastructure projects, such as a metro network, the airport, roads, the port, as well as residential development and new hospitals. Political discussions slowed the execution of the development plan for some time, but we are now seeing very positive developments with infrastructure, energy and medical projects given the highest priority.

The healthy public finances and implementation of the National Development Plan will create new opportunities for local and international companies, and will also open up new opportunities in terms of financing. This is fully in line with the strategy of BNP Paribas to support the local economy.

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