French giant AXA inks deal to build regional HQ in Bahrain

French insurance major among several firms to sign deals worth more than $500m with Bahrain
French giant AXA inks deal to build regional HQ in Bahrain
Insurance giant AXA signed a memorandum of understanding to build AXA Gulf’s new headquarters in the Gulf kingdom.
By Sam Bridge
Fri 03 May 2019 10:00 AM

French firms including aviation leader Thales, oil major Total, insurer AXA and asset managers Amundi and Tikehau Capital have signed agreements worth more than $500 million with Bahrain.

The deals, coinciding with a major diplomatic visit by a royal delegation from Bahrain to the European country, brings the total number of ongoing agreements with France to $4.63 billion.

Two of the agreements were related to support for Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air as Thales and Michelin both struck deals to service its fleet while insurance giant AXA signed a memorandum of understanding to build AXA Gulf’s new headquarters in the Gulf kingdom.

Energy firm Total also signed a MoU with Bahrain’s Tatweer Petroleum related to the major oil and gas discovery made off the west coast of the kingdom in 2018.

During the visit, Bahrain also reaffirmed other deals worth over $1.5 billion with French firms across multiple sectors.

Khalid Al Rumaihi, chief executive of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB), said: “There has been a long history of trade between our two nations and these deals are an expression of the increasingly close commercial ties across a variety of sectors from aviation to financial services that link France and Bahrain.

“There is a growing favourable outlook for more deals to be made across the knowledge economy and in high-tech industries, as well as in traditional areas of cooperation, such as infrastructure and energy.”

The agreements come as Bahrain is in the midst of a $32 billion infrastructure renaissance focusing on tourism and hospitality, retail, real estate, finance and oil and gas services.

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