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BNP Paribas the lead sponsor for the 2nd Annual Fund Forum Middle East

For the second consecutive year, BNP Paribas has shown its support for the growing funds management and securities services industry in the Gulf countries by acting as lead sponsor at the Middle East's annual Fund Forum. The event took place between 1 to 4 December at the Gulf Hotel, in Bahrain

The 2nd Annual FundForum Middle East 2008, was yet again another opportunity for BNP Paribas to demonstrate its strong commitment to the development of asset management and securities services in the Gulf countries. The globally recognised investment forum brought together 500 delegates from around the world including, government officials, CEOs, senior global fund managers, fund buyers, investment managers, private bankers and institutional investors.

“We had a very positive response from our lead sponsorship of last year's 1st Annual Fund Forum and we are very pleased to be the lead sponsor again for the second year for this excellent event that has brought a large number of local and international market players together. This is an opportune time for us to reaffirm our commitment in the region, as we have high expectations regarding the growth of the fund management and securities services industry in the Gulf countries, and we are well positioned regionally to provide our expertise.” said Tariq Al-Samahiji, CEO of BNP Paribas Investment Partners – MENA.

BNP Paribas Group, a European leader in banking and financial services, with a presence in more than 85 countries including the US and Asia, has a long standing commitment to the Middle East offering a wide selection of banking services to the region. The bank has been operating in the Gulf countries for over 35 years with a presence in: Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. BNP Paribas has approximately 670 employees in the region working for three core business lines - Asset Management and Services, Corporate and Investment Banking, and International Retail Banking.

BNP Paribas' asset management business, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, is globally recognised. One of the speakers at the FundForum was the CEO of SAIB BNP Paribas Asset Management, who raised participants' awareness of our MENA fund management capabilities. Also presented was a study on the correlation of MENA equity exposure in a global portfolio and the benefits this can offer investors seeking prudent diversification.

BNP Paribas Securities Services at the FundForum also advised clients on the importance of global custody at a time where asset security is of paramount importance. BNP Paribas is one of the top rated financial institutions in the world and is well positioned to assist clients in safe guarding their assets. BNP Paribas Securities Service set-up offices in Bahrain earlier this year and have already taken on new clients as the need for global custody and securities services gains importance for local government agencies, regional fund managers and family offices

About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is a European leader in global banking and financial services and is one of the 3 strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor's. The group is present in 85 countries, with more than 171,000 employees, including 131.000 in Europe. The group holds key positions in three major segments: Corporate and Investment Banking, Asset Management & Services and Retail Banking. Present throughout Europe in all of its business lines, the bank's two domestic markets in retail banking are France and Italy. BNP Paribas also has a significant presence in the United States and strong positions in Asia and the emerging markets.
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BNP Paribas Investment Partners brings together the full palette of asset management expertise of the BNP Paribas group. Through a unique platform that offers immediate and simplified access to a broad range of specialist Partner companies, BNP Paribas Investment Partners has become a leader among the multi-specialist asset managers. At 30 September 2008, assets under management amounted to €326 billion*, nearly half of which was managed for institutional clients. With 2,400 professionals serving clients in 70 countries, BNP Paribas Investment Partners draws on over half a century of asset management experience and has seen ten years of steady growth through acquisitions and joint-ventures. BNP Paribas Investment Partners has developed a strong franchise in New Markets with a network that includes operations and joint-ventures in Brazil, Argentina, China, India, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Turkey, holding together EUR 25 Billion of assets under management as of end of September 2008.
* assets under advisory included

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About BNP Paribas Securities Services
As a wholly owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas, BNP Paribas Securities Services is the world's highest rated custody bank (Standard & Poor's AA+). With €3.6 trillion assets under custody, €634 billion assets under administration and close to 6,000 funds administered, BNP Paribas Securities Services is the eurozone's leading securities services provider and rated number 5 in the world. BNP Paribas Securities Services has a unique multi-local model, servicing both the buy-side and sell-side with 5,600 employees worldwide, a local presence across 25 countries and global coverage of 100 markets.

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