Paribas, lead bank on the financing of the 3rd line of the Caracas metro


The construction of the Caracas metro was a leading industrial operation that began at the end of the 1970s.

This photo shows the representatives of the Caracas metro company and Paribas meeting in Paris on 30 May 1991 for the signing of the financing agreement for the 3rd line of the Caracas metro. The 1.6 billion French franc loan saw Paribas act as the lead banker of a consortium formed with Société Générale and Crédit Lyonnais, the metro management company and the Frameca Economic Interest Group (EIG) bringing together among others GEC-Alsthom, Cegelec, Spie Batignolles, Matra Transports, Suseca, ANF Industrie, Montcocol CSEE Transports and SGTE. The first and the second metro lines were commissioned in 1983 and 1987.

Export credits, a speciality of Parries
In the beginning of the 1950s, Paribas restarted its international trade financing activities and, in particular, for capital goods exports and French industrial projects abroad. The bank developed, at the behest of Jean Reyre, an ingenious credit system over five years that was able to overcome the shortage of foreign currency. The principle? Rather than lend in dollars (too rare) to the equipment buyer, the bank loaned in French francs to the French manufacturer that produced the equipment. And the manufacturer reimbursed the bank as the payments in dollars flowed in from the foreign buyer.

Using this method in 1978, Paribas helped French manufacturers win the construction contract for the Caracas metro against their Japanese competitor, thanks to an innovative method of financing: the currency swap. In the French offer denominated in French francs, the annual credit increase ceiling was 8% versus 5% for the Japanese offer in dollars. Consequently, Paribas, in collaboration with the Morgan bank, organised the forward purchase of the dollars the Caracas metro had to deliver to cover the French credit due dates. This conversion in dollars made it possible to offer the Venezuelan buyer a 15% discount, which was decisive in the French EIG’s victory.


Contact us / Send us a document

    This website has a cultural and historical purpose; it is not intended to deal with trade and banking relationship issues which will not be processed. See moreless

    If you have a document, a photo, a story about BNP Paribas history and want to share it, please do not hesitate to share it there.

    In transmitting this document, you certify to own it and to hold the property rights needed for their use. You authorize BNP Paribas to use it on the website Source of History.

    Thank you for indicate the origin of the documents and give us any information you consider relevant to its understanding.

    The personal data collected on this form is processed by BNP Paribas SA for processing. It allows us to provide a personalised answer to your requests (access to archives, research, information requests. Please note that fields identified by an asterisk (*) are mandatory.

    For more information on the processing of your personal data, you can access our Data Protection Notice.


    Suscribe to Well of History's newsletter

    The personal data collected from the Site are subject to data processing by BNP Paribas to enable access to and use of the functionalities offered by the Site
    Pursuant to the French Data Protection Law No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978, you are entitled to access the data collected by BNP Paribas and to have it amended, updated or deleted, where such information is incorrect, incomplete or outdated. You can exercise this right by contacting: BNP Paribas – APAC TDC Val de Marne, TSA 30233- 94729 FONTENAY SOUS BOIS Cedex.


    Files download

    I undertake to make private use of the contents downloaded from the website


    You have added an item to your selection.

    You can find your saved contents in the “My space” section, which can be accessed at the top right of any page of the website.

    My space English A+ A-

    To find this content on your next visit, you need to create an account from this section, by clicking on:

    Fermer Welcome to

    Well of History

    Since 1822, history has made us a key player and a witness of transformations taking place in society and economy in Europe and around the world. We invite you to share in our story and explore our archives to learn more about our constantly changing world.
    Jean Lemierre Jean Lemierre,
    of BNP Paribas