the oil and gas revenues in ambitious projects, with Dubai taking the lead in attracting trade, tourism and real estate investment. The business model was simple, concentrating on corporate trade flows, but at the same time making the most of the Bank s significant reach through its Corporate & Investment Banking and Asset Management capabilities.

Since the early 2000s, the Bank has been particularly active in the development of strategically important industries such as oil and gas, aluminium and steel.

In recent years, BNP Paribas has focused on companies in the most promising segments: local industry leaders, such as contracting companies participating in large infrastructure projects, rapidly growing distribution groups, as well as large diversified local groups having a worldwide or regional reach, and multinationals. The range of products and services demanded in the UAE has expanded in parallel. These services include rates and currency hedging, cash management solutions and structured finance.

BNP Paribas has been engaged in several landmark transactions for prominent UAE companies helping them to finance growth strategies and to navigate through the impact of the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. The Bank has been a pioneer in the market in several areas, such as an arranger of large-scale syndicated loans, structuring interest rate swaps to help companies manage risk, arranging export credit facilities and advising and managing bond issuances.

Since its first Islamic finance transaction in the UAE in 2007, BNP Paribas has also built a strong reputation in the area. The Bank has arranged some of the country s major sukuk issuances, with the Islamic finance division, BNP Paribas Najmah based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, working closely with its debt capital markets function to introduce global institutional investors to high potential UAE companies.

BNP Paribas stands for responsible change, embracing a responsibility to look beyond its business and invest in initiatives that can change lives for the better in the communities in which the Bank operates. A leading example of BNP Paribas ongoing commitment to the UAE is its effort to employ and develop the skills of UAE nationals, evident in a strong recent push to boost the hiring and roles of UAE nationals in its local operation, which mirrors the Group s policy of developing and employing local talent throughout the Gulf region. The Bank is also investing in education in order to support the country s aim to develop a knowledge-based economy. The Bank is a major supporter of the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, through its relationship with the pioneering founder members of Les Amis de la Sorbonne. The partnership provides students with the opportunity to receive an international degree locally. This partnership forms part of the Bank s regional community investment strategy and highlights the role BNP Paribas plays as a responsible Bank in the region.

EMIRATES AIRLINES HIRES BNP PARIBAS AS ARRANGER ON

AN EXIM FACILITY, OCTOBER 2009 (THE NATIONAL)

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE DURAND DELIVERS A BANKING AND FINANCE

LECTURE AT PARIS-SORBONNE UNIVERSITY ABU DHABI, MAY 2013

186 T H E H I S T O R Y O F B N P PA R I B A S I N T H E G U L F S TAT E S