BNP Paribas, the world’s sixth largest private bank in terms of assets, is moving its Middle East private banking headquarters from Geneva to Bahrain, reported the Gulf daily Tribune, and has appointed Eric Morin as its manager. Reportedly, the decision to shift the private banking operations to Bahrain was taken so that it would be closer to its customers.
According to Morin, the private banking market has been growing by 13 percent a year for the past three years and will reach $45 trillion by 2004. Nonetheless, he added, it is an extremely fragmented playing field, with the largest player holding a less than 2 percent market share.
BNP plans on offering its local clients global solution, either for their short-term investments through its Bahrain-based equities trading desk to long-term needs through portfolio management and private equity investments.
The bank also intends developing its on-shore operations, treasury operations and Islamic banking opportunities. It will be located in the UGB Building in Manama’s Diplomatic Area. – (Albawaba-MEBG)