So, is BNP Paribas' Europe's best investment bank?
It's BNP Paribas results day, and things are looking fairly at the corporate and investment bank (CIB). Revenues across the CIB were up in the third quarter and are (just about) on an ongoing growth trajectory as per the chart below from today's presentation.
Source: BNP Paribas
Revenues at the CIB rose nearly 6% year-on-year in the third quarter, driven - naturally, by global markets, where revenues were up 15%. Within global markets, BNP's fixed income salespeople and traders were the star performers, with a 25% year-on-year revenues increase in the quarter. In equities sales and trading and prime broking, the increase was a more modest 3%.
Does this put BNP Paribas up there with Europe's top investment banks? - The position it's aiming for with its stated ambition of becoming "the first European corporate and investment bank among global tier one players"? Maybe. As the chart below shows, its equities markets business in particular has gained share from rivals in the past year. Fixed income sales and trading has, however, done less well. BNP is a macro-focused house and Barclays, which is similarly positioned, has done much better year to date. BNP attributed its Q3 fixed income performance to, "reallocation and hedging needs in commodities, rates and foreign exchange products, and emerging markets,” which might make Credit Suisse regret its decision to close its own emerging markets trading operation.
Where BNP really seemed to do well in the past quarter, though, was investment banking. Amidst high, multi-double digit revenue declines at rival banks, BNP escaped with a mere 2% decline in revenues in its global banking division in Q3 and noted that it had gained market share. Its financing business showed "good resilience" and its combined syndicated loan, equity capital markets and debt capital markets were down the merest 21%. Gains were made, the leadership position was "consolidated" and there was strong growth in Asia Pac.
Does this make France's finest bank the best place to be in Europe? Maybe not, compared to a Deutsche Bank or a Barclays. But it looks a lot like BNP is gaining share from Credit Suisse in equities and investment banking, and that's no bad thing if you're looking for an ambitious European with aspirations to grow globally.
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