The team works as strategic partners to selected corporates in the region, providing a full range of Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions offerings. These large corporates include Middle East and Africa (MEA) based airlines and telecommunications companies.

Vikas Khandelwal, Head of Investment Banking Corporate Client Relationships MEA, provides more detail on the synergies between the region s growth trajectory and the IBCCR team s strategy: The dynamics of the MEA region are evolving. The corporate sector is becoming more outward-looking in trying to achieve its growth strategies. Aspen Pharmaceutical s recent acquisition of products and assets from Glaxo and Merck are a few good examples of this trend. Then, there is substantial need for infrastructure across the region that will eventually trigger higher GDP growth rates as government spending increases. We are well positioned to take advantage of this situation and develop its franchise further in the region.

Vikas added: It s an interesting time. We are cautiously optimistic over the next two to three years. BNP Paribas has a long-term commitment to this region, which enables us to consistently serve local clients as they expand and grow. We look forward to not only expanding our client base but also deepening our existing relationships in the years ahead.

Investment Banking Energy and Commodities Corporate Client Relationships

With hydrocarbons forming the backbone of many of the Gulf States economies, the financing and financial advisory activities of BNP Paribas in the region have historically been tilted towards the area of energy and commodities.

This activity was originally led by the Bank s Structured Financing but the growing and broadening needs of strategic clients gave the impetus to establish an on-the-ground presence for Investment Banking Energy & Commodities Corporates in the Gulf.

Established in 2008, at the Bank s regional headquarters in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Investment Banking Energy and Commodities Corporate Client Relationships aims to further develop close long-term strategic relationships. As the Bank expanded its operations in Africa, notably opening a full branch in South Africa in 2012, the remit has also extended progressively into a continent rich in natural resources.

Marc Mollema, Regional Head, Investment Banking Energy & Commodities Corporate Clients, explains that while his team can help to secure financing, client demands are evolving and are increasingly focused on expert advisory services:

The product mix is definitely changing as this region transforms economically. We have seen an increased demand for advisory business. This shift reflects the fact that clients are no longer as reliant on international banks for their financing needs.

85B N P PA R I B A S I N T H E G U L F S TAT E S A N D I T S C O N T R I B U T I O N T O T H E E C O N O M Y O F T H E R E G I O N