France: Tiger in the Bank

Two-thirds of the French banking industry dozes along under government ownership, and most private bankers are too timid to fight. The lone tiger is a bald dynamo of 66, Jean Reyre, president and director general of the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas. With at least a small stake in almost every big French industry, Reyre's "Paribas" spreads its investments across the world. They range from manganese ore in Gabon and gold in South Africa to factories in India and Russia.

Deals East & West. Combining the functions of commercial and investment bankers...

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