Western Europe’s best investment bank 2023: BNP Paribas
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Western Europe’s best investment bank 2023: BNP Paribas

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BNP Paribas has also had an excellent year in its corporate and institutional banking division, particularly in its home region. The division posted record revenues in 2022, of €16.5 billion, up 16% on the previous year. The equity and prime services, global banking and securities services units all saw new highs, while global markets had its best year since 2009.

The bank continues its historically strong ranking in debt but has also raised its game in equity capital markets to be the leading European bank, behind only Goldman Sachs. It also increased its market share in advisory.

BNPP has long topped the league tables for DCM issuance in euros, and the awards period was no exception, with nearly 600 completed deals for western European borrowers, about 45% more than the closest competitor on that measure. In a year when the number of deals completed by the top-20 bookrunners fell by about 35%, that was no mean feat.

Renaud-Franck Falce, 2023.jpg
Renaud-Franck Falce

One of the highlights when BNPP’s advice proved critical to success was the €3.85 billion deal for TenneT, a German electricity transmission services company, launched at a turbulent time in May 2022. The bank’s advice that the borrower should front-load the financing for its renewable energy capex plans was soon shown to have been correct.

In syndicated loans BNPP was at the forefront of the trends in the awards period, including the return of short-term facilities and the appetite for sustainability-linked deals. Deals for the likes of Fortum, Brookfield, Legal & General, Bosch and Antin showcased the bank’s versatility.

In ECM, where the bank has historically disappointed, the picture could not be more different over the last two years. Despite volumes being down 60% in western Europe, the bank increased its market share by 260 basis points, comfortably more than any other of the top 10.

“We have significantly strengthened our positioning in ECM over the past five years, by ensuring a far stronger alignment across teams within global capital markets as well as with our coverage and industry groups,” says Renaud-Franck Falce, head of global capital markets. “We have also had the benefit of fully integrating BNPP Exane and have expanded the breadth of our activity with private equity sponsors.”

We have significantly strengthened our positioning in ECM over the past five years, by ensuring a far stronger alignment across teams within global capital markets
Renaud-Franck Falce

In global markets, there are also improvements to what was already a leading business across fixed income and equities.

“The business has been strong for us in the last few years,” says Olivier Osty, head of global markets. "Clients are asking for liquidity more and more, so we are positioning ourselves as the European liquidity provider, like the US flow houses.

“Last year if you did not have a strong rates business, then you were missing something, and we have one of the best rates businesses in euros – and we are improving a lot in sterling, taking larger swaps and tickets in gilts.”

The bank’s securities services business has also been an extraordinarily consistent growth story over the past 10 years and has shown its skill at capturing the themes of the moment.

“Our biggest growth engines last year were in private capital, so asset servicing for private debt and equity funds and in real estate,” says Patrick Colle, head of securities services and chairman of financial institutions coverage. “It is growing at more than 20% a year. Last year we became for the first time the largest European banking provider of private capital asset servicing.”

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