Paris supports the region

During this transformative period, BNP Paribas general management gave its full support to the initiatives taken by the Gulf regional hub, and to the dynamic commercial approach of the teams. This top-level support was described by Jean-Jacques Santini. The Group invested in the Gulf States, not only because growth in this region was having a positive knock-on effect with other areas, but also because the region was an excellent example of how to successfully integrate several different business lines.

A common vision

Crucially, as Jean-Christophe Durand said of employees in the region, We share a joint vision which runs right through the single unified team strategy that we implemented three years ago. BNP Paribas is today number one in Corporate Finance, number three in Trade Finance34 and for the last few years has been the top book runner for syndicated loans in the Gulf.

The chosen approach was crowned with success in the form of industry-wide recognition. A string of project finance transactions in the UAE between 2009 and 2011 including for power and energy projects were recognised as the best in their field by specialist publications Project Finance and PFI.

The Bank also picked up several awards from the EMEA Finance publication in 2011, including the best sovereign sukuk35, for the Kingdom of Bahrain s issuance, as well as for financing transactions for Islamic Development Bank and the International Petroleum Investment Company.

Several other financing transactions, including a bond issuance for Qatar National Bank, in 2011, and a syndicated loan in 2013, for the Abu Dhabi energy firm TAQA, were lauded by the influential business magazine, The Banker.

In 2013, the Financial Times-owned publication Mergermarket selected BNP Paribas as the financial adviser of the year for the Middle East and North Africa region. In the same year, Euromoney named BNP Paribas as one of the region s top banks for cash management.

The Gulf region during the financial crisis

The Gulf region did not escape unscathed from the global financial crisis and it too had to cope with the bursting of the real estate bubble. However, according to Eric Josserand, who worked in Bahrain from 1994 to 2013, BNP Paribas maintained its good reputation.

34. In 2009

35. Sukuk: the Arabic name for financial certificates, but commonly used as the Islamic equivalent of bonds.

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