Growing with our clients

BNP Paribas relationship with Chalhoub Group, the leading partner for luxury across the Middle East, dates back to early 1960s in Lebanon with BNP International. In 1990, it took another dimension, when the Group began working with Paribas, one of BNP Paribas predecessors. The head office of the Group, previously in Kuwait, was rebuilt in the UAE during the first Gulf War.

Since then, BNP Paribas association with Chalhoub Group has prospered, moving from strength to strength. The Bank has supported the expansion of the Group s retail and distribution business in the region, stretching across the UAE, and the Kingdoms of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

In addition, over the years Chalhoub Group has entered into partnership with several leading luxury brands such as LVMH, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Coty and L Oreal, for which the Bank has offered its support. For example, BNP Paribas recently supported the retail expansion of the Group into Abu Dhabi as they opened new stores in Galleria (Sowwah Square).

The Bank is also currently working with them on several projects such as the financing of staff benefits together with BNP Paribas Investment Partners, while Chalhoub Group continues to have a dialogue with BNP Paribas Corporate Finance concerning opportunities in the luxury space. BNP Paribas has also recently been mandated as the Group s cash management bank for the UAE, one of the Group s top markets, which is currently responsible for over 40 percent of revenue.

A growing operation

Having successfully operated two branches for 40 years - in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai - BNP Paribas recently added to its operations in the UAE by establishing a subsidiary to enhance its wealth management activities in the Arabian Gulf region. BNP Paribas Wealth Management (DIFC) Ltd opened an office in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) in January 2012.

The Bank has also complemented its Bahrain-based regional processing capabilities with a second platform established in Dubai s Knowledge Village, BNP Paribas Services FZ-LLC, which also constitutes a business continuity site.

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.

As the Bank has developed, it has focused on its strengths - deploying world-class and highly diverse teams to support governments, local companies and multinationals. The Bank is a specialist in addressing the challenges of diversification in the Arabian Gulf economies, including privatisations, bond issuances, infrastructure funding, debt restructuring and sovereign wealth fund planning.

Jean-Christophe Durand, CEO, Middle East & Africa for Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions, explains that the Bank remains committed to the UAE for the long term: Long-term commitment is in our DNA. We value our deep roots in the region and very much believe in the potential here. We will keep contributing to the UAE s economic development by doing what we do best opening doors for our clients and helping them fulfil their ambitions. This year both the UAE central bank and BNP Paribas celebrate 40 years, we look forward to another 40 years of impressive milestones as we continue our partnerships with our clients and regulators, which will ultimately benefit the UAE.

SUPPORTING OUR CLIENTS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

The economic diversification model undertaken by the UAE, which has accelerated over the last two decades, has provided BNP Paribas with the opportunity to establish long- term relationships with a range of corporate and government-sector clients.

The Bank has thrived by providing high value-added services and products such as debt syndication and fixed income derivatives with activity ranging across several sectors. Below are some examples.

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