Fatima Abul, co-regional Head of Fixed Income at BNP Paribas, elaborated further on what it takes to build a strong client base: We have served our clients over the years by building mutual trust, which comes from an unwavering commitment to service. Banking and fixed income can be seen as commoditised. However, what differentiates a great team and delivery from a good team and delivery is the ability to help a client identify and understand the risks inherent in their business dealings. The team should present a full range of alternatives to manage these risks. These alternatives can be simple or creative but must always be tailored to the client s unique needs. Finally, the team should execute transactions to the highest international standards, all the while following through with a commitment for after-sales and follow-up. A keen desire to serve is the core of BNP Paribas philosophy to be our clients access to the world.

Global Equities and Commodity Derivatives

The Bank s Global Equities and Commodity Derivatives (GECD) business line, which services clients in over 60 countries, has been operating in the Gulf for many years from major financial centres, and in particular London.

Due to the nature of the Gulf s economies particularly its hydrocarbon wealth, high dependence on food and agricultural imports, and strong outward investment flows many of BNP Paribas clients in the region have seen their hedging needs continually increase.

As demand was growing for hedging products in the corporate sector, especially for businesses with high exposure to hydrocarbons, soft commodities and metals, BNP Paribas regional management pushed for an on-the-ground presence.

In 2013, Simohamed Sijilmassi moved to Bahrain with a remit to develop the commodities derivatives business across the Middle East and further enhance BNP Paribas standing as a major player globally for custom-made derivatives on commodity underlyings.

Companies in the region are developing at a fast pace and require tailor-made risk management strategies to hedge.

I believe the biggest potential for building long-term partnerships is among consumers who need to hedge their raw materials imports on one hand and producers on the other hand; and for the latter the Saudi market is the one to focus on. We have developed strong relationships there, as it is a market that needs time to penetrate. Some companies need to be familiarised with hedging, others need to implement changes to their strategies. Generally, the hedging programmes that work are the ones that are disciplined and based on a scheduled risk management strategy rather than on a view on the market .

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