BNP Lures Asia Millionaires Amid Asset Management Outflow

BNP Paribas SA (BNP), France’s largest bank, said net new money from affluent individuals in Asia and European markets helped boost assets in the third quarter.

Wealth management assets rose 2.5 percent to 279 billion euros ($381 billion) from the second quarter after clients in Asia as well as France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy added funds, the Paris-based lender said today. Net inflows were 2.1 billion euros, up from 800 million euros a year earlier.

“Asset growth was supported by strong net collections in Asia and Europe,” Vincent Lecomte, co-head of wealth management, said in an e-mailed response to questions today. “Revenue and profit are also up this year, supported by higher transaction volumes in all our markets, reflecting more appetite for risk from clients compared with last year.”

BNP Paribas is hiring private bankers in Asia as it targets assets from rich individuals in the world’s fastest-growing wealth markets. The bank plans to double assets and revenue from the region over the next three to five years, Lecomte has said, to try and close the gap on Swiss and U.S. companies that dominate private bank rankings.

Wealth management assets at BNP Paribas in the Asia-Pacific region jumped 20 percent to 34.6 billion euros in the 12 months through June 30, Chief Operating Officer Philippe Bordenave said at a presentation on Sept. 25. The firm, which has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, declined to provide a figure for the third quarter.

Affluent Individuals

BNP Paribas is the world’s ninth-biggest wealth manager, according to a July study of client assets by London-based Scorpio Partnership, with Switzerland’s UBS AG (UBSN) ranked No. 1. The Swiss bank reported global assets under management of more than 1.7 trillion Swiss francs ($1.9 trillion) as of Sept. 30 including 211 billion francs from the Asia-Pacific region.

Net new money from affluent individuals helped partially compensate for the sixth consecutive quarter of net outflows from BNP Paribas’s asset-management unit, according to company presentations. Institutional customers withdrew 5.6 billion euros, in particular from bond funds, in the three months through September, the bank said.

Global pretax profit at BNP’s wealth and asset management units declined 11 percent to 158 million euros in the third quarter. The company doesn’t provide figures on wealth management profit alone.

To contact the reporter on this story: Giles Broom in Geneva at gbroom@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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