Apart from these trade missions, the Bank also had regular contact with financial circles in the Gulf, with managers from the foreign department visiting the region on prospecting trips. In November 1971, one of the Bank s directors, Claude Tibbaut, visited Dubai. The report on his meetings with the main Banks there highlighted the region s business and financial prospects. In March 1972, Claude Tibbaut and another manager visited the main Saudi financial institutions with relatively limited results, finding them first and foremost concerned about strengthening their dollar and sterling reserves. Interbank trade business was also fairly limited. Documentary credit activity with the Riyadh Bank in Jeddah, for example, only amounted to 36 million Belgian francs (BEF) in 1970 and 14 million in 1971.

However, there was one bank with which relations were particularly close the Central Bank of Kuwait. Founded in 1970, it immediately forged a strong relationship with the Société Générale de Banque, and in 1971 was added to the list of 32 issuing banks holding accounts on the Belgian bank s books. The Bank was then in 11th place in the ranking of foreign banks that had deposits with Société Générale de Banque, with 720 million Belgian francs on deposit out of total deposits of 54 billion Belgian francs. This figure did not take into account the deposits of the Central Bank of Kuwait with Banque Belge Ltd, a British subsidiary of Société Générale de Banque.

Société Générale de Banque s participation in consortium banks working in the Middle East

General information

In the 1960s and 1970s, many European banks expanded onto the international scene by means of banking consortiums. In coming together to invest overseas, they shared the costs and minimised country risks for each individual bank.

Société Générale de Banque was part of one of the largest banking consortiums of the time. From 1963, Société Générale worked with three of the biggest banks in Europe Amro

INAUGURAL MEETING OF THE EBIC CONSORTIUM,

PRESIDED BY BARON PAUL-EMMANUEL JANSSEN,

CEO OF SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE DE BANQUE, 30 OCTOBER 1970

216 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