A spring awakening is sweeping through Asia’s financial markets, which have become...
Asia-Pacific, the largest and most densely populated continent in the world, also boasts the highest economic growth rates. With more than 10,000 employees in the region, BNP Paribas is present in 14 markets with enormous potential.
Jacques d'Estais, would you present BNP Paribas' activities in Asia-Pacific, and tell us who your clients are?
First of all, let me remind you that BNP Paribas just celebrated its 150 years in India and in China. Our three core businesses: Corporate Investment Banking (CIB), Investment Solutions (IS) and Retail Banking have considerably grown stronger over the last 15 years. CIB through its now global product lines whereas IS is also present through most of our product lines. And in the retail sector we have participation in local banks in China, in Vietnam.
In this vast and diversified region, our clients are large corporations and financial institutions acting as investors, but also the financial intermediaries that help us distribute our products to their clients. Plus, we also have access to a private banking "affluent clientele" in the region including Ultra High Net Worth individuals with over 30 million dollars in financial assets. Therefore, all our traditional banking clients are present in the region.
Why is the Group interested in Asia-Pacific today?
The Asia-Pacific region is the place to be. Given the dynamics of the revenue pools in our business across the globe, the analyses that are being made show that in investment banking the revenue pools are increasing much faster here than everywhere else.
The wealth in Asia-Pacific will be larger than in Europe and in the US in five years' time, what leads us to be more and more active with the local clients, including corporate financial institutions and individuals. But also our global clients are themselves more and more interested in building and growing in the region and we must be there to accompany them in their expansion plans in the region. For this reason, the global Group, BNP Paribas, has to be more present in Asia-Pacific in the future.
What are BNP Paribas' goals for the next 3 years?
We will work on an ambitious three-year plan from now until 2013 in which we intend to grow mostly in our CIB and IS businesses. On CIB, and in fixed Income in particular, we intend to solidify our positions among investors thanks to our top fixed-income house in the region, an activity that is growing at a very fast pace.
Our presence in structured finance in the region is very good, as well as in export finance and in commodity finance. We want to maintain that, we want to protect our positions in the financing sector and probably develop in new countries as well.
For IS, the main challenges for us are in the asset management sector as well as in private banking. We want to capture more of the wealth that is being created in the region by developing our investment products and reinforcing our teams.
The Insurance product line, which has a strong presence in Asia-Pacific, will continue to expand its distribution channels in order to strengthen its presence across the major markets in the area. And we intend for the Securities Services product line, whose recent development in the region is very dynamic, to become a global player in Asia-Pacific.
For Personal Investors, which is present in India through Geojit BNP Paribas, we predict an increase of its distribution capacities for its affluent clients, particularly in South East Asia. Finally,we expect for Retail Banking to continue to develop sponsorships with Chinese and Vietnamese banks, and who knows, even to explore other growth areas. Such is our plan for BNP Paribas is Asia-Pacific, ambitious and stimulating at the same time.
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