the aviation industry, as the industry matured. Over the years, the Bank has served a range of clients, including the major global airlines and new regional players. We re a player in the Gulf States, and are increasing our penetration because it s one of the most dynamic regions in the world when it comes to air transport. Hosting three of the best-known airline companies in the world, which are also among Boeing and Airbus most important clients, it s also a region that s very active in joint industrial and investment projects in all sectors. Basically, our clients know that the Bank has been an active participant here for a long time and that we have always been able to structure deals to take account of any new market developments.
The Bank manages its client relationships in the Gulf s aviation industry through its regional headquarters in Bahrain. The team works closely with clients to find tailor-made solutions, while also working in partnership with the Paris-based Aviation Finance division to provide a valuable global network, co-ordination and expertise.
Throughout the years, BNP Paribas aviation services have been primarily focused on commodities, fuel and foreign exchange hedging. However, the Bank has expanded its range and variety of services to include structured capital markets and cash management in recent years, as the Gulf region developed into one of the most important aviation hubs in the world, the crucial link between Europe and Asia.
Vikas Khandelwal, Head of Investment Banking Corporate Clients MEA, explains the Bank s evolving aviation sector strategy: There is strong acknowledgment that the GCC regional aviation hub concept works extremely well and that BNP Paribas can play an important part in the expansion strategies of the region s aviation industry. As airlines have grown and their ambitions have broadened, the relationships between BNP Paribas aviation finance team and senior management at airlines have become even closer.
Vikas elaborates on BNP Paribas specific strengths in aviation, which will further support clients as it executes a less conservative strategy: Our clients have long valued our commodity hedging expertise, and now other parts of our business are coming into play, including BNP Paribas strong structuring capabilities and Islamic finance structures, which are critical for the Gulf region. We also have the ability to propose multiple funding ideas and underwrite major transactions, and have a global network to support the scale of financing required for these rapidly expanding companies.
BNP Paribas Investment Partners
Given the region s generally vibrant economic environment, coupled with its sizable pool of surplus and investible cash reserves, institutional investors and global asset management firms in the Gulf have long enjoyed a special relationship. While BNP Paribas enjoys a long and fruitful history in the Gulf, the Bank s Investment Partners (IP) business line is comparatively new to the region.
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