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BNP Paribas Cardif accelerates Asian expansion through joint venture with China's Bank of Beijing

BNP Paribas Cardif enters the Chinese insurance market through an agreement to acquire the 50% stake held by ING Group in its life insurance joint venture with Bank of Beijing.

The new joint venture will thus be equally owned by the two shareholders, BNP Paribas Cardif and Bank of Beijing.

The alliance of the 2 leading institutions will combine BNP Paribas Cardif's extensive insurance expertise in Asia and the strength of Bank of Beijing's brand to offer unique savings and protection insurance products to Chinese customers.

With this transaction, BNP Paribas Cardif accelerates its international development by entering one of the world's fastest-growing insurance markets, as China is expected to become the second-largest life insurance market in the world by 2020(1.).

Eric Lombard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas Cardif, said: “BNP Paribas Cardif generated 3.8 billion euros in gross written premiums in Asia in 2012, an increase of 25% over the previous year. We are delighted with this partnership with Bank of Beijing, which marks a major new stage in BNP Paribas Cardif's international expansion.”

Xavier Guilmineau, Chief Executive Officer Asia, BNP Paribas Cardif, added: “Entering the Chinese market is a key step of our development. This fast-growing market offers numerous development opportunities in life insurance. The BNP Paribas Cardif's expertise coupled with the quality of the Bank of Beijing brand will strengthen our position in this key region for our development.”

Eric Raynaud, Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas Asia Pacific highlighted: “This partnership is an important milestone of the Group's development plan in Asia Pacific. China represents a key market for us where we provide clients with services in corporate and investment banking and wealth management activities through our 100% subsidiary BNP Paribas China Ltd. We have every good reason to believe that this partnership will be as successful as the ones we already enjoy since 2005 with Bank of Nanjing in retail and commercial banking and with Haitong Securities since 2003 through HFT Investment Management in asset management. ”

Established in 1996, Bank of Beijing is a leading city commercial bank in China. With operations in 10 provinces, the bank has a network of over 200 branches and serves 10 million customers.

This alliance reflects BNP Paribas Cardif's longstanding strategy of developing partnerships with top-tier players.

BNP Paribas Cardif has had a presence in Asia for 15 years, with operations in seven countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, including five joint ventures (with SBI in India, Shinhan in South Korea, TCoB in Taiwan, Thai Life in Thailand and Vietcombank in Vietnam). BNP Paribas Cardif has also set up a representative office in China since 2003.

This transaction is subject to approval by regulatory authorities.

About BNP Paribas Cardif
BNP Paribas Cardif ( integrates the life and property & casualty insurance subsidiaries of BNP Paribas. It develops savings and protection products and services which are distributed via a wide range of channels. Present in 36 countries with a diversified geographic footprint, BNP Paribas Cardif has strong positions in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

In 2012, it had gross written premiums of 24.3 billion euros, with 56% of gross written premiums generated outside France. BNP Paribas Cardif counts nearly 10,000 employees (2), of whom 68% work outside France.

With a strong commitment to exemplary Corporate Social Responsibility, BNP Paribas Cardif develops responsible products and services, supports diversity within the company, deploys an internal environmental policy and supports economic and financial education.

BNP Paribas Cardif is marking 40 years of operations in 2013.

2.Headcount for legal entities controlled by BNP Paribas Cardif: over 8,000 employees.