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BNP Paribas presents “Women changing India” exhibition to celebrate its 150 years in India

BNP Paribas India is celebrating its 150th anniversary in India this year and to mark this milestone event, the bank has commissioned a major photography exhibition by Magnum Photo agency on the theme of “Women changing India”. The exhibition will travel through five cities in India from October to December and is accompanied by a book of photographs and essays by Indian authors, focusing on the vital role that women play in India today.

This project, initiated by BNP Paribas, combi nes the talents of Magnum Photo Agency and Zubaan, a Delhi-based publishing house specialising in books for and about women in South Asia. Six subjects covered by six well-known Magnum photographers: Martine Franck, Alex Webb, Patrick Zachmann, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Olivia Arthur, and Raghu Rai have been identified to highlight the cultural and geographical diversity of women's lives in India. Each subject highlights the changing roles, aspirations, opportunities and challenges that Indian women face, whether they live in villages or cities, whether they are students, taxi drivers, lawyers, movie directors or business leaders.

Baudouin Prot, Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas explains: “Serving clients by providing them the best services and solutions, while placing human values at the heart of its business and respecting diversity to make the world a better place are fundamental to BNP Paribas' operations across the world. These values have been a source of strength since the Group's founding. BNP Paribas' interest in India and the role of women is rooted in a deeply held commitment to social responsibility and equal opportunities. Wherever the bank operates, it has transformed this commitment into concrete actions.”

BNP Paribas is active in Indian microfinance and brings its support to microfinance institutions, which allocate loans to entrepreneurs, most of them being women.

Through SBI Life, a joint venture between BNP Paribas and the State Bank of India, the Group is also creating micro-insurance products such as Grameen Shakti and Grameen Super Suraksha, designed for self-help groups, 90 per cent of which are created by women. These products provide low-income populations with access to life insurance at extremely attractive rates.

Geojit BNP Paribas has opened retail brokerage offices in several Indian cities that are dedicated exclusively to, and staffed entirely by, women.

BNP Paribas also plays its full role as a banker to finance the real economy alongside major Indian corporations. Some, such as Thermax, Britannia Industries, HT Media, Rajshree Sugars and TAFE, are directed by women, all of whom maintain close ties with our Group. These examples alone suffice to illustrate the key role women play on India's economic scene.

The Group is also engaged in numerous actions of solidarity and self-help around the world, many directly involving women, such as the funding of a shelter for economically or socially disadvantaged girls.

In India, the exhibition “Women changing India” will travel from October to December 2010 to five cities:
Mumbai : 22 October – 1 November, National Center for the Performing arts (NPCA)
Delhi : 24 October – 2 November, Visual Art Gallery Habitat Center
Kochi : 11 November – 21 November, Durga Hall and Sevika Hall
Chennai : 20 November – 28 November, Lalit Kala Academy
Kolkata: 4 December – 16 December, Tagore Center

BNP Paribas take the exhibition to Paris, London, Brussels and Milan in 2011.

About BNP Paribas in India

BNP Paribas was the second foreign bank to start a dialogue with India in 1860 and today it is amongst the leading corporate banks in India. With branches in eight major cities across the country, the group has three core business lines in India in Corporate and Investment Banking, Investment solutions and Retail Banking. BNP Paribas is a very active player in Corporate & Investment Banking offering products across businesses which include Fixed Income & Debt Capital Markets, Structured Finance, Cash Management & Trade, Export & Project Finance. It has a strong presence in the Wealth Management arena offering world class capabilities and customized solutions to its clients.

The Group has further developed its businesses through joint ventures in Home Finance and Securities Services with Sundaram Group; in Life Insurance with SBI, in Personal Investment Services and Institutional Broking with Geojit Financial Services, in Real Estate Consultancy Services with Redwoods and BNP Paribas Lease Group (Equipment Solutions) joint venture with SREI Infrastructure Finances. In addition, the Group has subsidiaries in Fleet Management (Arval) and has an asset management company, BNP Paribas Mutual Funds.