More on BNP Paribas's Investment Banking Expansion

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Paris-based BNP Paribas has ambitious plans to grow its worldwide investment banking business, creating a new team of bankers to cater to Europe's 200 largest corporations. Selective expansion in Asia and U.S. investment banking is on its agenda too.

The Financial Times reports that France's largest bank is eager to exploit its "fundamental transformation" in the wake of last year's acquisition of Belgium's Fortis, which gave BNP the largest retail deposit base in Europe.

Alain Papiasse, the head of BNP's corporate and investment banking division, told the FT:

We have a new position and we need to capitalize on that by implementing an ambitious growth plan in Europe and selectively building our U.S and Asian platforms.

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No longer content to be perceived by analysts and investors as primarily a retail banking operation, BNP overhauling its investment banking business in a bid to break into Europe's top five in M&A advisory and corporate finance. For now, retail banking contributes more than half the group's revenues, while the corporate and investment bank division brings in about one-third. While it has a leading franchise in fixed-income and equity sales trading, its presence is M&A and stock and bond underwriting is largely confined to France, according to the FT.

The bank placed 20th in European M&A advisory in this year's first quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"Being the leader in France is nice but it is not enough," Thierry Olive, head of corporate finance and equity capital markets for Europe, told the paper.

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