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BNP Paribas and Vietnamese-based bank Orient Commercial Joint-Stock Bank formalise their alliance

Friday 22 February 2008, the ceremony celebrating the strategic alliance between Orient Commercial Joint-Stock Bank (OCB) and BNP Paribas was held at Ho Chi Minh City. This official ceremony concludes BNP Paribas's formal acquisition of an initial 10% equity stake in OCB dated 31 December 2007, thereby bringing to an end the process of negotiations and administrative procedures that BNP Paribas undertook to have the licenses required under local regulations. The ceremony was also an opportunity for BNP Paribas to establish the detailed strategic agreements. This transaction makes BNP Paribas OCB's second largest shareholder after Sunimex, a Vietnam-based services company. After signing the strategic agreements with OCB, BNP Paribas's stake will be increased to 20% in accordance with recent legislation.

BNP Paribas and OCB will now be working closely together on joint projects related to business lines and support functions. This strategic partnership will enable OCB to consolidate its development by enriching its product offering, modernizing its support activities and enhancing the training of its employees, while the agreement with OCB will propel BNP Paribas' presence in Vietnam to a new level.

OCB was created in April 1996 and is now present throughout Vietnam via a network of 59 branches and sales outlets. The bank started out in Ho Chi Minh City, where its head office is situated; this largely explains its strong presence in the south, the most dynamic part of the country. It then expanded to the centre and north of the country, concentrating primarily on the main urban areas. OCB is enjoying a period of rapid growth, illustrated by a 60% increase in its net earnings in 2007 compared to 2006. It has ambitious objectives for 2008 with the planned opening of 26 branches. This meteoric rise sets OCB in the top third of private Vietnamese banks with total assets under management of VND 11,754 billion (USD 735 million), loans of VND 7,514 billion (USD 470 million) and deposits of VND 5,771 billion (USD 361 million).

BNP Paribas in Vietnam
BNP Paribas has a long-established presence in Vietnam, having been one of the first foreign banks to open a representative office in 1989 and then obtain a full banking licence in 1992. The Ho Chi Minh City branch of BNP Paribas offers Corporate clients in Vietnam a broad range of products and services in asset management and corporate and investment banking. The Group is also present in the insurance sector through Cardif, which signed a partnership with Vietcombank and Seabank in early 2007 to market life insurance, life protection and savings products. BNP Paribas' stake in the capital of OCB will strengthen the Group's presence in Vietnam and confirm its interest in the region.

About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas ( is a European leader in global banking and financial services and is one of the 4 strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor's. The group is present in over 85 countries, with almost 163,000 employees, including near 127,000 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.

Press contact:
Isabelle Wolff - +33 1 57 43 89 26 - isabelle.wolff [at] bnpparibas (dot) com
Christelle Maldague - +33 1 42 98 56 48 - christelle.maldague [at] bnpparibas (dot) com