Paribas in the 1980s

During the 1980s, despite political uncertainty arising from regional conflicts and economic disruption resulting from lower oil revenues, the Paribas branches in the Gulf States continued to expand their business and posted steadily improving results.

In 1983, the Doha branch ranked amongst Qatar s leading financial institutions, behind the National Bank of Qatar. The two establishments in Bahrain28 also showed strong growth in their financial results, due mainly to an increase in business with Saudi customers.

The Abu Dhabi branch, managed by Fran├žois Dauge, increasingly provided services to large French and European exporting companies, which were extremely active in the Abu Dhabi market at that time. This business continued to grow, and meanwhile the Dubai and Muscat branches consolidated their positions in their markets, which were seeing relatively slow growth.

The Abu Dhabi branch in the 1980s

From 1982 to 1985, the Abu Dhabi branch was helmed by Fran├žois Dauge. Almost all transactions in this period were tracked and booked manually, except for a few, which were registered in the general ledger. This was a small first step towards computerisation, which would only be fully implemented some time later. Matthieu Lacaze, who was in Abu Dhabi from 1982 to 1986, recalled how the office worked. Everything was done manually

28. An offshore banking unit was opened in March 1978.

PARIBAS MIDDLE EAST SEMINAR IN ABU DHABI, JUNE 1983

56 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