companies from the UAE buying a lot of overseas assets. Then there was a pause for a couple of years after the global crisis, and now we are seeing once again more and more acquisitions from players from across the region. They are becoming very disciplined in their approach, and are looking at markets that they know fairly well and where there is a strong strategic angle. During this period, several other significant deals were done in the region, notably in telecoms, transportation, energy, mass retail and real estate.
With BNP Paribas also advising major corporations on cross-border transactions in Asia and Africa, such business now accounts for around half of the Bank s Corporate Finance revenues in the Middle East and Africa region.
Eric Jacquemot, in charge of Corporate Finance for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey until early 2014, is confident of the future development of the business line in the region. We have a team in the Gulf with permanent staff in Dubai, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, backed up by around 400 people worldwide who have sector and local expertise, he said. We can, for example, suggest opportunities in Europe and Asia to our clients in the Gulf on a sector-by-sector basis.
In addition, our teams in the Gulf, together with the other BNP Paribas business line teams there, have succeeded in establishing close relationships of trust with their clients. Of course we benefit from the excellent reputation BNP Paribas has in the Gulf, a reputation that is based both on trust and on our long-standing presence in the region. Our expertise therefore continues to be in demand in the Gulf region.
Project Finance Advisory
BNP Paribas is a leading bank in the Gulf States in the field of project finance advisory, with a strong track record of transactions that have played a major role in accelerating the pace of the region s economic development.
From the late 1990s, BNP Paribas developed a strong project finance capability in the Gulf States in response to rising demand from the Bank s major corporate and governmental clients, as the process of economic diversification gathered momentum in the region.
The first on-the-ground presence was established by Paribas in Abu Dhabi, with the team moving to Bahrain in 1998 and seamlessly becoming part of the regional hub when BNP and Paribas merged in 2000.
Early activity in the area was largely centred around balance sheet lending, but the business soon developed as capital markets transactions became viable, and evolved into a full offering of project finance advisory services.
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