Global 500: The top 25

Wal-Mart retakes the lead on Fortune's annual list of the world's biggest companies. See which other outfits top our list.

BNP Paribas
25. BNP Paribas
Global 500 rank: 25 (Previous rank: 34)
2006 Revenues (millions): $109,214
Headquarters: Paris
Country: France

BNP Paribas is France's second-largest bank by revenues, behind Crédit Agricole. But it has a much bigger reach abroad than its competitor. More than half of its bank branches are outside France, in fast-growing economies like Turkey and Russia. That propelled profits to a record $9.1 billion last year. BNP Paribas is also a global leader in selling sophisticated investment products like derivatives. These services now make up a third of total profits.

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