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Capital Markets

Debt capital markets: Competition heats up for CEE bonds

Deutsche leads the way; BNP and Goldman make good progress

Rivalry among banks to land bond mandates in emerging Europe is as fierce as at any time, according to capital markets chiefs.

With borrowers across the region favouring banks with strong balance-sheet commitment, all the leading firms are being forced to invest heavily in the business.

"I’ve been in the CEE market since 1998 and it’s the most competitive environment I’ve known," says Chris Tuffey, co-head of credit capital markets in Emea at Credit Suisse. "There are an increasing number of banks aggressively trying to build out a CEE franchise."

With western economies still in the throes of a fiscal crisis, the big investment banks are increasingly turning to the emerging markets for growth.

In central and eastern Europe’s debt markets that means that while established houses such as Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and Citi lead the way, other banks that either haven’t been big players, or that used to be but were badly affected by the financial crisis and were expected to scale down their presence have refocused their energies.

Goldman Sachs, for example, has rarely, if ever, been considered as a leading debt capital markets house in the region. This year, however, it has scooped some important mandates including those for such borrowers as Russian Railways (a sterling bond), the Democratic Republic of Georgia (a combination of an exchange and new bonds) and Garanti Bank (a dual-tranche issue including fixed-rate and floating-rate notes).

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