Natalie Yacoubian appointed General Manager and Country Head of BNP Paribas Qatar

Doha, May 25, 2022: BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa is pleased to announce the appointment of Natalie Yacoubian as General Manager and Country Head for BNP Paribas Qatar. She reports to Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Head of BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa.

Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Head of BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa said “Natalie is a great addition to BNP Paribas in Qatar. She will continue to support the development of our business with Corporate and Institutional clients and contribute to expanding the Bank’s footprint in the region.  She brings with her extensive professional knowledge both in banking and consulting combined with a strong understanding of the Bank’s strategy.  Notably, BNP Paribas has been present in Qatar as a subsidiary since 1956, and as a full commercial branch in 1973 licensed by the Central Bank of Qatar.”

Natalie has over 20 years of banking experience. She joined BNP Paribas in 1999 where she began her career as an EMEA Relationship Manager within the Project and Structured Finance team, focusing on energy & commodity clients. Natalie is a seasoned international banker having assumed senior roles at BNP Paribas, including Head of Upstream Oil & Gas for the Investment Banking Asia Pacific region based in Singapore, and Principal and ExCo Member of the CIB Consulting & Transformation team in Paris.


BNP Paribas Appoints François Regnier CEO of BNP Paribas, United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi, 13 December 2021: BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa is pleased to announce the appointment of François Regnier as Chief Executive Officer for BNP Paribas – United Arab Emirates. François will also take on the responsibility for multi-national coverage in the region. Located in the bank’s Abu Dhabi office. François reports to Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Head of BNP Paribas, Middle East & Africa.

Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Head of BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa said “We’re very pleased to welcome François Regnier, as CEO of BNP Paribas for the UAE. With over 30 years of banking experience, he will help further enhance the bank’s strategy in the UAE across all client segments, including corporates, multinationals and financial institutions. We are confident that François’ knowledge and business gravitas will enable us to continue to support our clients at this critical juncture in sustainability, and deliver sustainable finance solutions as part of the region’s energy transition.”

As a seasoned professional, François has over 30 years of strong and diversified experience with BNP Paribas. He spent 10 years in Paris at the start of his career.  He held several senior executive roles at the Bank in London and Central & Eastern Europe. He served as Country Head for BNP Paribas in Hungary from 2005 until 2009, and then Country Head in Russia from 2012 until 2015. In London, he led the Acquisition Finance team in the early 2000’s and served as Head of Human Resources at the time of the BNP Paribas and Fortis merger. He was also Chief Operations Officer for BNP Paribas London Branch, as well as BNP Paribas’ Chief Compliance Officer, UK.

Rami Falah appointed General Manager of BNP Paribas Bahrain Branch

Manama, December 12, 2021: BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa is pleased to announce the appointment of Rami Falah as General Manager of BNP Paribas Bahrain Conventional Retail Branch (CRB) with immediate effect. Rami will also continue as Head of Islamic Banking, for BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa. He reports to Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, CEO, BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa, based out of the regional Headquarters in Bahrain.

Rami Falah, a Bahraini national, initially joined BNP Paribas in 2004 as a Senior Relationship Manager. He was promoted to Head of Islamic Banking in 2006, a position he has held since. He began his career with Arab Bank as a Junior Credit Analyst, Compliance & Credit Control in 1996, before becoming a Relationship Manager within the financial institutions department.

Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Head of BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa said “Over the past 17 years, Rami Falah has significantly contributed to BNP Paribas. As Head of Islamic Banking, Middle East & Africa, he has worked on landmark international deals, overseeing everything from product design to delivery, in the service of sustaining and deepening our relationships with our Islamic Finance clients. He has the right capabilities to support our business in Bahrain, and drive further growth across our corporate and institutional activities. “


About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a leading bank in the Eurozone and a prominent international banking institution. It has a presence in 68 countries, with more than 193,000 employees. The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets, International Financial Services and Corporate & Institutional Banking. The Group helps all its clients to realise their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas, as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific.

BNP Paribas has been operating in the MEA region for over 45 years, where it is active in the fields of Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services. The Bank has a presence in five of the Gulf countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The BNP Paribas Group in South Africa is represented by a full commercial branch in Johannesburg and BNP Paribas Personal Finance Ltd. (RCS) a consumer finance company based in Cape Town. BNP Paribas is also present in Morocco through the BNP Paribas Regional Investment Company (BRIC), which acts as a hub for wider Africa.

Kieran Fahy appointed Chief Executive Officer for BNP Paribas South Africa

12 October 2021: BNP Paribas appointed Kieran Fahy as Chief Executive Officer, South Africa, effective immediately. He reports to Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Head of BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa.

Kieran has over 20 years of experience within the banking and financial services industry. He joins the BNP Paribas Johannesburg office from Paris, where he spent the past four years as a member of BNP Paribas’ Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA) Corporate Coverage Management Team with responsibility for the EMEA Multinational Corporate franchise.

Kieran Fahy has a wealth of professional experience, holding senior positions within BNP Paribas including Chief Executive Officer for BNP Paribas Sweden, where he also headed the Stockholm Branch, and acting Head of Coverage Corporate Banking for Sweden and Finland. Previous roles include Head of Corporate and Transaction Banking and responsibility for Corporate and Institutional Coverage for BNP Paribas in Ireland.

Before joining BNP Paribas in 2002, Kieran also worked for JP Morgan in Dublin, and Chase Manhattan Bank, in London and Dublin.

Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Head of BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa said, “Kieran has extensive experience managing a large team across multiple international markets. We are confident that he will continue to develop our business in South Africa, progressing the bank’s sustainable finance agenda and working with both local and multi-national clients to provide best in class services and solutions.

“Kieran will also nurture our existing corporate social responsibility projects in South Africa such as the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI), and BNP Paribas & RCS Rising Star Tennis, which give back to the local communities in areas such as conflict resolution and grassroots sport.”

BNP Paribas advises JSE-listed Imperial on sale of European and Latin American shipping business

Johannesburg. 22nd April 2021: Imperial Logistics Ltd (Imperial), an African focused provider of integrated market access and logistics solutions, announced the sale of its South American shipping business as this is deemed as non-core to the organisation’s ‘Gateway to Africa’ strategy. This transaction follows the sale of Imperial’s European shipping operations announced in May 2020. BNP Paribas acted as M&A Advisor on both transactions.

“We are pleased to be the bank of choice and advise Imperial on its second strategic deal after finalising the sale of their European operations last year. The South American shipping operations in question were an attractive opportunity for many potential buyers approached by BNP Paribas. These operations have a relatively low emissions profile, as the goods are transported on waterways.” says Vikas Khandelwal, Head of Territory for BNP Paribas South Africa.

“Through our global expertise and extensive network, this transaction reinforces the depth and breadth of capabilities BNP Paribas offers clients in South Africa. This is demonstrated by our ongoing partnership with Imperial and despite the challenging economic backdrop caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and difficult conditions globally,” continued Khandelwal.

The most recent transaction, completed on 16 April 2021, saw São Paulo-based Hidrovias do Brasil S.A. take control of the South American operations for a total cash consideration of USD 90 million which equates to a multiple of 9.6X FY2020 reported EBITDA. The enterprise value includes an earn-out component of up to USD 5 million, which is payable dependent on water levels over the 4-year period, commencing on 1 January 2021. The sale of Imperial’s European shipping operations in 2020 was to the value of EUR171 million.

“This second transaction emphasises Imperial’s strategic intent to become a ‘One Imperial’ business and serve as the ‘Gateway to Africa’ for its clients, principals, and customers,” said Mohammed Akoojee, Group CEO at Imperial. He added, “The sale of the South American shipping business follows the sale of the European shipping business, which was concluded on 31 July 2020. The remaining freight management and contract logistics operations within the international logistics business remain for sale and we are in the process of selling these, as announced at the group’s F2021 interim results on 23 February 2021.”

“Hidrovias do Brasil S.A. is well positioned to operate the business sustainably based on long-standing customer relationships and a highly skilled, experienced and motivated work force,” expanded Akoojee. “We believe that this is the most suitable home for the South American shipping business and its people.”

“This acquisition gives us a very important operational flexibility which will allow us to complement our navigation capacity and operate in regions where we currently do not access” said Fabio Schettino, Hidrovias do Brasil S.A. CEO.

This transaction’s proceeds will be used to optimise the financial position of Imperial, reducing its overall existing debt in the short-term and will be invested in new growth areas in line with the Group’s strategy in due course.

The regulatory SENS announcement that includes more information about the transaction is available on Imperial’s website

BNP Paribas Appoints Reema Al Asmari as Head of Territory for Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 7: Reema Al Asmari joins BNP Paribas as newly appointed Head of Territory for Saudi Arabia, reinforcing the bank’s corporate and institutional (CIB) presence in the Kingdom.

In her new role, Reema will oversee the bank’s national commercial strategy, with a focus on strengthening relationships with strategic clients, multi-national corporates and government related entities. She will also drive BNP Paribas’ product and service offering across all CIB metiers, including growth in areas such as sustainable finance.

Reema reports to Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Head of BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa and a member of the BNP Paribas’ MEA Executive Committee.

Amine Bel Hadj Soulami said, “We are pleased to have Reema on board, strengthening our team with her in-depth knowledge of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. BNP Paribas has long recognised the Kingdom’s vital role in the overall development of the region, since the bank became operational there in 2005.”

“In addition to our traditional banking presence, as a recognised global leader in sustainable finance, we look forward to accompanying our clients in Saudi Arabia on their transition journey. The national ambition towards renewable energy in particular, offers the opportunity to support the diversifying economy more broadly.”

Reema joins BNP Paribas from Natixis, where she held the position of CEO for Saudi Arabia. Before joining Natixis, Reema worked nine years with JPMorgan Chase & Co in the Kingdom. Her last role with the US bank was Treasury Services Country Head. Prior to that she was the Treasurer for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Johannesburg.

Speaking about her appointment, Reema said: “I am honoured to join BNP Paribas with the mission to grow the bank’s presence here in Saudi Arabia. As a dynamic bank which continues to evolve alongside Saudi’s ever changing business environment, I am enthusiastic about the opportunities to build upon its current success.”

Reema takes over from Jean-Francois Sibille who becomes Head of Compliance, BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa. She will work alongside Ammar Pharaon who heads BNP Paribas’ Investment Company (BIC) also located in Riyadh.

BNP Paribas Leads Financing of World’s Largest Single-Site Solar Power Plant in Abu Dhabi

Al Dhafra PV2 solar plant marks global milestone for scalable renewable energy through sustainable finance

Abu Dhabi, 22nd February 2021: The Al Dhafra PV2 solar project procured by the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) and developed by EDF Renouvelables and Jinko Power (HK), a subsidiary of Jinko Power Technology Co, Ltd (Jinko Power), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Masdar has announced its financial closing. The total project costs are approximately US$ 1billion.

BNP Paribas was sole Lead Bank for the winning consortium bid for the Al Dhafra PV2 solar project, the world’s largest single-site solar power plant under construction with a capacity of 2GWp. BNP Paribas acted as sole Bookrunner, Documentation Bank, Mandated Lead Arranger and Hedge Provider. In addition, BNP Paribas acted as the sole Equity Bridge Loan (EBL) Lender to EDF Renouvelables and Jinko Power, and EBL Facility Agent. Six other Mandated Lead Arranger banks participated in the financing of the project.

The new solar site is located 35 km outside of Abu Dhabi City, and will deploy the latest innovations in crystalline bifacial solar technology, which will enable the generation of more power by using both sides of the solar panel.

The project will supply power directly to EWEC. It will use approximately 4 million solar panels to generate enough electricity to sustain power for up to 160,000 homes across the UAE. Upon full commercial operations, the plant is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by more than 2.4 million metric tons per year – equivalent to removing 470,000 cars from roads. The plant is in line with the UAE’s commitment to source 50% of its energy from clean resources in the next 30 years, and is part of the Energy Strategy 2050. The project is expected to be commercially operational by 2022.

At financial close, the project had yielded one of the most competitive levelised costs of electricity for solar PV (1.32 c$/kWh), reinforcing the environmental, commercial and operational value of transitioning towards renewable energy.

Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Head of BNP Paribas, Middle East & Africa said: “Scaling up the energy transition through finance is essential to tackling the climate crisis, and BNP Paribas is committed to supporting this vital shift towards a low carbon economy. Renewable energy is a strategic pillar of the UAE’s sustainability strategy, and the Al Dhafra PV2 solar plant will significantly contribute to the 50% clean energy-sourcing objective by 2050.”

Severine Mateo, Head of Energy, Resources and Infrastructure department, BNP Paribas, added, “We are committed to supporting companies and countries that are prioritising a proactive sustainability transition, and this is critical to our role as a responsible bank.”

In 2018, BNP Paribas joined forces with four other large banks to develop a common methodology for measuring and aligning bank loan portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement. This methodology, called PACTA, covers the utilities, automakers, and oil & gas sectors, as well as other high emission sectors across transportation and heavy industry.

BNP Paribas Appoints Amine Bel Hadj Soulami as Head of Middle East & Africa

Manama, Bahrain, 17 February, 2021: BNP Paribas has appointed Amine Bel Hadj Soulami as Head of BNP Paribas, Middle East & Africa, succeeding Jacques Michel who becomes Chairman for the region. Jacques reports to Alain Papiasse, Chairman of BNP Paribas Corporate and Institutional Banking (CIB) and Amine Bel Hadj Soulami reports to Yannick Jung, Head of Global Banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa. They are both based in Manama, Bahrain, BNP Paribas’ regional headquarters.

Yannick Jung said “I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Amine Bel Hadj Soulami as Head of BNP Paribas in the Middle East and Africa. With more than 30 years of banking experience and an extensive record of accomplishment in Global Markets and Sustainable Finance, Amine is perfectly suited to uphold our status as a leading bank in the Middle East and Africa. He will also bring the full spectrum of our expertise in energy transition to the region.

He added, “I would like to thank Jacques Michel for his dedication and contribution. Under his tenure, BNP Paribas reinforced its position as one of the leading foreign banks in the Middle East & Africa.

Amine Bel Hadj Soulami oversees the jurisdiction’s seven geographies and over 600 staff. He joined the Middle East & Africa region with a 32-year career with the bank having held leadership positions in Paris, New York, London & Tokyo.

Prior to becoming Head of BNP Paribas Middle East & Africa, Amine was a Senior Advisor to BNP Paribas Global Markets. His previous roles also include Global Head of Sustainable Finance in Global Markets and Global Head of Research and Sustainable Investments within Corporate Institutional Banking. Amine also served as Global Head of Commodity Derivatives, and Head of Equity & Derivatives for the Americas.

BNP Paribas Group: Results as at 2 November 2020

The Board of Directors of BNP Paribas met on 2 November 2020. The meeting was chaired by Jean Lemierre and the Board examined the Group’s results for the third quarter 2020.


BNP Paribas Group: Results as at 30 July 2020

The Board of Directors of BNP Paribas met on 30 July 2020. The meeting was chaired by Jean Lemierre and the Board examined the Group’s results for the second quarter 2020 and endorsed the interim financial statements for the first half of the year.

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