BNP Paribas aims for 490 branches in Persian Gulf, Mediterranean basin by 2006

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PARIS (AFX) – BNP Paribas said it plans to have 490 retail banking branches in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean basin regions by the end of 2006, compared with 314 branches at the end of last year.

The bank said this is an acceleration of its original target — its goal of opening 200 new branches in 2005-2007 has been increased by one-third.

BNP Paribas intends to capitalise on the strong growth potential of the region, and said its expansion will be made through organic growth as well as acquisitions.

A recent French press report said BNP is planning to lodge a bid for Egypt’s Bank of Alexandria, scheduled to be privatised by the Egyptian government in early 2006, and it is also bidding for Credit Populaire d’Algerie alongside other French banks.


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