Shockwaves of the European economic crisis hit Israel: French bank BNP Paribas is preparing to wrap up its Israel activity, Calcalist has learned.
The bank's Israel branch employs 60 workers and conducts business ties with the local economy's biggest groups, such as Israel Corporation and Teva Pharmaceuticals.
Charles Reisman, general manager of BNP Paribas Israel, said he might have to come to terms with the fact that his resume would include the closing of the Israel branch under his tenure.
The Israeli branch opened in 2006, although the bank conducted business in the country 10 years before that.
In October 2010, Forbes and Bloomberg rated Paribas the world's largest bank in term of assets, after the bank emerged from the previous global crisis relatively unscathed with profits of €3 billion (about $4 billion) and €6 billion ($8.3 billion) in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
Since then, however, the bank's state of affairs has taken a turn for the worse following the recent crisis and last month it announced, concurrently with Societe Generale, a €1.1 trillion ($1.51 trillion) cutback in an attempt to dodge a financing round.
Paribas bears huge exposure to European sovereign debt and in the third quarter of 2011 it sold $2.26 billion due to exposure to Greek sovereign debt.
The bank was unavailable for comment.
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