FRANCE – BNP Paribas is targeting a €50bn increase in assets under management by 2007 – coming on top of an 8.3% rise in AUM last year.

It said 2004 earnings statement that it planned to grow its total assets under management by €50bn – from its current €292.1bn.

Its asset management and services business, including real estate, gained €11.6bn in AUM in 2004. Fourth-quarter pre-tax income at the unit rose 30% to €264m over the 2003 quarter.

It also said it wants to double the amount of “highly technical assets” - which a spokeswoman said included alternative investments - to €40bn.

The group also said it would pursue growth through acquisitions and strengthen its position in France, Europe and in the rest of the world with “selected business expansion”.

The spokeswoman explained the acquisition strategy mainly regarded the retail bank sector and added the group had selected Europe and the US as priorities. She stressed the bank would also consider acquisitions in any other sector, should the right opportunity arise.

Plans for the developments of the real estate business include promoting new real estate fund management services and developing cross selling.

Within securities services, assets under custody rose 18% to €2.4bn. Pre-tax income from securities services was up 42.9% at E20m – although it fell 4.8% from the third quarter of 2004.

The group as a whole posted a 23.9% rise in operating income to €6.5bn.

Chief executive Baudoin Prot said: “In the coming years, the group will be pursuing an ambitious organic growth, an ongoing effort to achieve greater operating efficiency, rigorous control of risks and active capital management.”