BNP Paribas Securities Services, the third-biggest custodian in Australia, has beaten off State Street Corp. in the competition to be the custodian of $130 billion in funds for the merged AMP-AXA Asia Pacific Australia and New Zealand.

BNP Paribas still has to pass a final due diligence assessment before it can be awarded the custody contract. But it is the only company selected for the due diligence process, says Pierre Jond, managing director Australia and New Zealand for BNP Paribas Securities Services.

The Paris-based bank was always the favourite for the custody contract. It has been the custodian for AMP Group since 2002, says Jond. State Street was the custodian for AXA in Australia and N.Z. which was acquired by AMP.

Jond declined to say how much the contract was worth.

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