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BNP Paribas steps up development of retail banking in emerging markets

BNP Paribas' retail banking arm is stepping up the development of its networks in overseas emerging markets, epitomizing the dynamic approach that makes retail banking one of the Group's primary growth drivers. This rapid development is chiefly centered on the Mediterranean basin, an area that BNP Paribas has made one of its major strategic priorities in recent years, and on Far-Eastern Europe where the Group's focus on the retail banking market is more recent.

1. Growth objectives for the Mediterranean basin and Gulf region revised upwards a second time.

The initial objective of 200 retail outlets openings in 2005–2007 was already revised up by a third in October 2005. Now, with the pace of branch openings having doubled in a year (139 branches will be opened in 2006, compared with 67 branches opened in the same area in 2005), and given the economic dynamism of the countries concerned and the excellent performance of the Group's networks established in them, this forecast has been corrected again and for 2007, over 130 openings are planned in the Mediterranean basin and Gulf region.

Growth will be particularly strong in Turkey where BNP Paribas was one of the first European banking groups to establish retail banking, with TEB entering the group network. This network is set to increase from 113 branches in 2005 to 173 by the end of 2006, and to 233 by the end of 2007. Major development plans are also in the pipeline for Morocco and Tunisia, where the Group has been present for many years through BMCI and UBCI, and in Egypt and Algeria where its establishment in retail banking is more recent.

Altogether, the Mediterranean basin and Gulf region should extend to 650 branches by the end of 2007. Note that BNP Paribas' two domestic markets are France and Italy, where the Group has a total of over 3,000 branches – both of these countries have particularly strong trade links with the other countries in the Mediterranean basin in which BNP Paribas is now accelerating its expansion.

2. Far-Eastern Europe is a new growth region for retail banking in emerging countries.

In Ukraine, the acquisition of the majority of the capital of Ukrsibbank was finalized in the first half of 2006. Its network of 763 branches at December 31, 2005 will be extended to 1,000 by the end of 2006, in over 100 towns and cities throughout the country.

In Russia, where BNP Paribas already has a significant base in corporate and investment banking, the Group is also working on the launch of a retail banking activity.

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The development of these networks is very significant for BNP Paribas' entire emerging countries activity. From 500 branches in 2004 to 574 in 2005, it will comprise over 1,650 outlets at December 31, 2006. Whether they operate under a local name or directly as BNP Paribas, all the emerging countries' networks have now adopted the “stars in flight” logo, the Group's common visual identity.

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About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas ( is a European leader in banking and financial services, and ranks among the world's top 15 banks by market capitalization. It has around 140 000 employees, 110 000 of whom are based in Europe. The group occupies leading positions in three significant fields of activity: Corporate and Investment Banking, Asset Management & Services and Retail Banking. It is present in 85 countries and has a strong presence in all the key financial centres. Present throughout Europe, in all its business lines, France and Italy are its two domestic markets in retail banking. BNP Paribas enjoys a significant and growing presence in the United States and leading positions in Asia and in emerging markets.