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BNP Paribas S.A. is a global banking group, headquartered in Paris, with its second global headquarters in London. In October 2010, BNP Paribas was ranked by Bloomberg and Forbes as the largest bank and largest company in the world by assets with over US$3.1 trillion. It was formed through the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas in 2000. In April 2009, BNP Paribas purchased a 75 percent stake in Fortis Bank, the Belgian banking business, making BNP the eurozone's largest bank by deposits held. In 2011, BNP Paribas was the world's biggest bank, as measured by total assets of US$2.670 trillion.
BNP Paribas escaped the 2007-09 credit crisis relatively unscathed reporting a EU3 billion net profit for the year of 2008, and EU5.8 billion for 2009, both years boosted by profits from trading in its CIB (Corporate and Investment Banking) division. BNP Paribas has one of the highest credit ratings in its peer group with the long term debt of the group currently ranked AA- by S&P, Aa3 by Moody's and A+ by Fitch.
The firm is a universal bank split into three strategic business units: Retail Banking, Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions (which includes Asset Management, custodial banking, and real estate services).
BNP Paribas's four domestic markets are France, Italy, Belgium, and Luxembourg. It also has significant retail operations in the United States, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, and North Africa, as well as large-scale investment banking operations in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Singapore.