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September 28, 2011 -

BNP Paribas appoints Laurent Couraudon as new Country Head in China

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BNP Paribas is pleased to announce the appointment of Laurent Couraudon as its new Country Head for China. Effective 1st October 2011, Laurent will be based in Beijing* and he will replace Francois Cristofari who retires.

Reporting to Eric Raynaud, Chief Executive Officer for Asia Pacific, Laurent Couraudon will further solidify the Bank’s foothold in a market that is growing in significance in the Group’s development strategy by deepening the client franchise and coordinating the Group’s activities in China.

Commenting on this appointment, Eric Raynaud said: “As a seasoned banker, Laurent brings with him a strong track record of success. He has greatly contributed to the growth of our business in Russia during the six years of his tenure and I am confident that his expertise, managerial skills and valuable experience will enable us to significantly expand our operations in China.”

Laurent’s most recent position was Country Head for Russia. In that capacity he has led and built the Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking business in Russia while strengthening the capabilities of the Retail Banking and Investment Solutions activities.

After a short stint as an officer in the French Army, Laurent joined the Group in 1993, working in Geneva. He was posted in Moscow in 1997 as a representative for the Energy & Commodity Finance business and was promoted to his last position in the end of 2004.

* Clarence T’ao, based in Shanghai, remains Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas (China) Ltd.

BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas ( is one of the strongest banks in the world*. The Group has a presence in more than 80 countries and more than 200,000 employees, including more than 160,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across the Europe-Mediterranean zone and boasts a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia.

* Rated AA by Standard & Poor’s i.e. 3rd rating level on a scale of 22.

BNP Paribas in China

BNP Paribas’ presence in China dates back to 1860 when it opened its first office in Shanghai. In April 2008, BNP Paribas secured the approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) for converting the branches of BNP Paribas in Beijing, Tianjin and Guangzhou into branches of its existing subsidiary, BNP Paribas (China) Ltd, which is headquartered in Shanghai.

BNP Paribas (China) Ltd currently provides banking, financing and advisory services on both Corporate and Investment Banking and Investment Solutions fronts. In 2009, BNP Paribas (China) Ltd was granted a Renminbi banking license by the CBRC. BNP Paribas Investment Partners (the asset management arm of BNP Paribas) holds a 49 percent stake in HFT Investment Management which is a joint-venture with Haitong Securities (51 percent stake).

BNP Paribas has a 12.6 percent stake in Bank of Nanjing.

On December 16, 2010, Standard & Poor’s raised its long-term rating on BNP Paribas (China) Ltd to “AA-” from “A+” with a stable outlook. The bank’s short-term rating has also been raised to “A-1+” from “A-1”.

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