BNP Paribas is one of the leading banks of Europe and France. It was created on May 23 of 2000 by the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas. Together with Société Générale and Crédit Lyonnais group is called the “three old” banks of France. Part of the CAC 40. Society of Nadhmi Auchi, General Mediterranean Holdings (GenMed) is its largest shareholder. According to the Auchi’s lawyer since 2001 GenMed has reduced its stake in BNP Paribas about 0.4 percent of total bank’s shares, about half of the assets previously held. This percentage will remain in any event within the largest individual shareholders of the bank according to the New York Times.
On 6 October 2008, BNP Paribas reached an agreement with the Belgian government to buy part of Fortis Group, which had been involved in a joint action of the authorities of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. BNP Paribas acquired 75% of Fortis Bank and 100% of Fortis Insurance Belgium, while the state contended the remaining 25% of the banking division retained Fortis Group and Fortis Insurance International. 2 In the same operation acquires the Belgian State 11.6% stake in BNP Paribas and becomes, in fact, the largest shareholder. The state meanwhile Luxembourg acquires 1.1% of BNP Paribas.
BNP was created in 1966 by the merger of Banque Nationale du Commerce et de l’Industrie (BNCI) and the Conservatoire Nationale d’Escompte de Paris (CNEP). BNP was privatized in 1993. Originally Compagnie Financière de Paris et des Pays-Bas (Corporación Financiera de Paris and the Netherlands), the Compagnie Financière de Paribas becomes simply Paribas in 1998 after acquiring the Compagnie Bancaire.
In 1999 BNP and Société Générale a complex battle fought on the continuous market, with Societe Generale bidding for Paribas and BNP bidding for Societe Generale and Paribas contrapujando. BNP’s offer by Société Générale failed, while the bid for Paribas led to the merger of BNP and Paribas. Until 2001, all revenues from Iraqi oil for food program were kept in an account in escrow solely managed by BNP Paribas. Later, money was taken by several unnamed international banks.