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BNP Paribas seeks greater market share in mergers and acquisitions

Paris-based BNP Paribas SA is aiming to increase its market share in mergers and acquisitions throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and wants to boost its position in markets such as Germany, the U.K. and Scandinavia, according to bank executives.

It is currently in ninth position in M&A, with €89 billion in deal value at Oct. 31 and market share of 9.3%, according to Dealogic data. The figures capture deals where BNP Paribas has acted as manager or underwriter or otherwise gained fees from on both the buy and sell side.

The French bank is behind Credit Suisse Group AG, which is in eighth place with €136 billion in deal value and 14.2% market share, the Dealogic data shows, and just ahead of Deutsche Bank AG, which had €88 billion worth of M&A deals at the end of October and 9.2% market share.

"Our aim is to stay among the top 10 and win market share," Sophie Javary, managing director of the bank's head of corporate finance for EMEA, said at a news conference in Paris on Dec. 4.

"We have to be realistic in our ambitions, which are to win market share, and not necessarily think that we could be among the top five," she said. More important is to increase the number of deals, which currently stand at 71, compared to 69 for Credit Suisse and 61 for Deutsche Bank.

BNP Paribas wants to increase its presence in equity capital markets and wealth management in Germany by cross-selling across these activities and M&A. It is also eyeing growth in Scandinavia and the U.K., where it recently hired Matthew Ponsonby, a former vice chairman of banking at Barclays Bank Plc, for a newly created role as head of U.K. corporate banking.

"We are considered as the market leader in M&A in France but we still have a large gap in market penetration in other European markets," Javary said.

BNP Paribas is the largest bank in the eurozone in terms of assets and is seeking to position itself as one of the leading investment banks on the European market.

Across the EMEA, the total value of M&A deals year-to-date stood at €960 billion as of Nov. 1, up from €946 billion during the same period in 2016. Javary said she was optimistic about the growth of the market in 2018 amid buoyant economic growth, which is boosting demand for financing.

She said she expected strong growth in the French market and also in Spain, which is enjoying a rebound in its economy. A question mark, however, hangs over the U.K. market following its decision to leave the EU.

"As soon as there was the Brexit announcement, the M&A market in the U.K. slowed down sharply," she said. "We are seeing with the slump in the pound and for non-British investors, the U.K. has found its attractiveness ... but there are still questions about the slowdown in the U.K. economy." She added that traditionally the U.K. accounts for 15% to 20% of the M&A market.