Euromoney Awards for Excellence 1996

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This year, Euromoney's Awards for Excellence are broader in scope than ever before. A number of new categories have been introduced to reflect changes in the structure of international markets.

Euromoney Awards for Excellence 1996

In order to highlight the fullrange of different services in the derivatives market, we have added the category of most innovative derivatives house to complement the best derivatives house and best risk adviser awards. Secondary market equity activity is often overlooked in awards such as these. This year we have changed this by giving an award to the institution we consider to be the best international brokerage firm.

The whole area of debt and equity research is changing and it will be fascinating to see which of the two main approaches - local market research or global sectoral research - will out. This year, Euromoney is inaugurating two new awards for research: best international equity research house and best emerging markets research house.

By contrast, a number of categories have been suspended. For instance, over the period between last year's and this year's awards, there were only two dozen or so international equity issues in the emerging markets. That meant it was almost impossible to gauge how well each institution did in that category. With so many deals in the pipeline, though, the category will be reinstated next year. For the same reason, the category of privatization adviser has also been put on hold for the year, and the most dominant firmin a sector or niche may re-emerge in 1997.

We strive to make the Euromoney Awards for Excellence the definitive guide to which banks are best in different areas of the global capital markets.

The decision-making process for the awards was exhaustive. Our editors drew up a shortlist of candidates in each category based on league tables, the banks' profitability, our own polls and our journalists' market soundings.

We tried to maintain our standards for fairness and accuracy by asking candidates nominated in the overall awards to provide us with a brief synopsis of their strengths in the chosen categories. Editor Garry Evans and contributing editor Katharine Morton then conducted meetings with as many people shortlisted as possible. In a one-month period, they met with more than 120 people in three countries. These meetings paid close attention to each firm's qualities, managerial structure, focus, ability to innovate as well as profitability and positioning among peers.

The shortlist has deliberately been kept tighter than in previous years.The new category of "top tier" reflects our belief that, in certain categories, there is a first division of very high quality players thathave missed achieving the highest award by a whisker or that have risen into the first league over the past year. At the same time, we have retained the "one to watch" tag for firms that are outside our shortlistsbut which we believe stand a good chance of making the grade. The final decisions were then made by a committee of Euromoney's senior editors.

Once again Citibank flourished in the awards. Its strategy of concentratingon corporate and emerging markets business has become more finely tuned over the past year. Other winners include SBC Warburg, whose merger hassettled in rapidly; and Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, which are very difficult to chose between in terms of quality and global reach. Chase has also made a dent on the awards; although clearly it will take a while to gauge whether the Chemical merger has given the firm a one-off boost or a real push up to a new level. We will be surprised if the firm doesn't win more awards next year.


Best bank

Citibank

Last year was a pivotal one for Citibank. Not only was 1995 a strikinglygood year for performance - earnings climbed to $3.5 billion and returnon equity soared to 20.8% - it was also marked by steps forward in strategy and outlook. The firm has laid out a series of business directions that will play to its strengths in its consumer and corporate banking franchise, and differentiate it from its competitors.

On the consumer side of the business, which made up 52% of Citi's $982 million first-quarter core business earnings, the firm is building a strong brand image of efficient, convenient, high-quality banking - or "Citibanking". This brand is carried across its entire operations in 98 countries. The major turnaround in strategy over the past year, though, comes on the corporate banking side where the bank has moved from a geographic focus to a client focus. Citi's entire 1,400-client target market is now served by dedicated global teams that manage relationships with each client in whichever market they operate. Even though Citi has contracted its assets, revenues havegrown as its customer base has started demanding more complex product solutions in a variety of different markets, rather than simply loans. And as its clients look towards the emerging markets as the source of growth, they will rely more and more on Citibank's unrivalled franchise.

Citibank is not driving for growth for its own sake. Indeed, the firm islooking at its balance sheet in a much more disciplined way than would have been the case five years ago. Already, Citibank is on a much stronger footing,having boosted total capital to $27.7 billion last year. The firm has also announced a $4.5 billion stock buy-back programme.

The top executives in the firm are acutely aware that technology, risk management and people will be the keys to retaining its leading position. Citi is devoting considerable resources to technology development, and to streamlining and integrating its checks and balances for risk across the company. In terms of personnel, the bank itself is hacking away at its corporate centre, devolving into flexible, smaller units able to adapt to local market conditions, and is very adept at moving its talent around. With such a focused vision, Citibank will be a tough one to beat.

Top tierHSBC A marathon runner rather than a sprinter, it is hard to argue with a bank whose holding group had shareholder equity of $26.7 billion, a return on average equity of 15.62% and net profits of $3.8 billion last year.


Most improved bank

Standard Chartered

After its nadir as an unwieldy and old-fashioned bank was reached in 1992,Standard Chartered decided to get rid of the seaweed around its propellers. This was done by ruthlessly refocusing the firm's activities, increasing integration and selling peripheral elements of its business, and getting out of commercial property lending. Standard Chartered is focusing on its strong franchises in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and on its core businesses of personal, corporate and institutional banking, consumer finance, treasury, custody and investment banking.

The strategy has worked. Standard Chartered achieved a return on equity of 28% in 1995 from only 6% in 1992, and earnings per share of 45.9 pence in 1995, from only 6.2 pence in 1992. A total of 68% of the group's £661million ($1.01 billion) pre-tax profits last year came from the Asia-Pacific region.

Personal banking alone accounts for around 30% of total profits - a key reason for this is that Standard Chartered is attuned to the burgeoning demand for credit cards and personal mortgages.

Corporate banking is becoming more focused on trade finance and cash management, and institutional banking is being driven by the aim of being the "bankers' bank" in all the regions on which Standard Chartered focuses. The treasury group is focusing on its strength in exotic currencies, and the group's sub-custodian services, under the banner of Equitor, are proving very successful.

In the meantime, investment banking has been trimmed and organized to support the bank's Asian and oecd customer base. Costs are being broadly held down to the levels prevailing in 1993 and 1994, bureaucracy is being whittled away and the group is becoming more centralized technologically.

Can the return on equity be sustained? Certainly a figure in the mid-20s will be achievable, given that the growth in the core businesses is sustained.

From an old-fashioned loosely connected banking group, Standard Chartered is now developing along the lines of a well-tuned bank which has carefully controlled risks, and a profit and loss account which is more predictable.


Most improved capital markets bank

ABN Amro

ABN Amro wins the most improved capital markets bank for the second time in succession, because it keeps getting better. The firm wants to be among the top five investment banks in the world and this, somewhat startlingly, no longer looks like a vain hope.

ABN Amro is still marching up the league tables as an underwriter of Eurobondsand globals, pitching in at number 11 in the year to May 1996 from 14 in the previous year. Indeed, the firm's bookrunner volume increased by 40%in 1995, according to its own figures. In the syndicated loan arranger tables, the firm is number eight outside the us and number 12 in the world.

The rapidity of its move from merely having a stronghold in the guildermarket continues to be a source of surprise to many of its competitors. Its guilder imbalance has now fallen below 50% of its international bondbusiness and the firm is pushing hard to increase its diversity.

ABN Amro's progress in the us is incremental. With 80 sales people dedicated to us placement, the firm's capacity to distribute product in the us is better than many players recognize.

Significant dollar deals over the past year include several Dutch companies,such as Unilever, BNG's three-way (dollar, Swiss francs and guilders), and the bank's own global and yankee.

Over the past 18 months, ABN Amro has added 180 people to its fixed-income and derivatives business, and is pushing hard into Asian origination and trying hard to find its niche in the agency market. In emerging markets, the firm has scored some notable successes, such as Electrobras' split $150million/¥100 million bond offering, which was the firm's first-ever joint yen lead, and CEZ's ckr4 billion 10-year domestic bond sale, the longest tenor bond in the Czech Republic's home market.

In the equity market, ABN Amro Hoare Govett's major equity positions increased significantly over the past year. While Hoare Govett has been brought under the ABN Amro branding, the firm is waiting for the equity market to becomemore integrated before it brings Rothschild under the ABN Amro tag.


Best smaller bank

Banco Santander

Aggressive but focused, Banco Santander successfully achieved many of its ambitious goals last year. Diversification, across products and regions, and innovation remain the watchwords of the group. The bank's post-tax return on equity figure of 14.8% reects the dilution caused by the group's purchase of ailing Spanish bank Banesto in 1994. Even so, Santander has managed to whip Banesto rapidly into shape, putting in a new management team, cleaning up the balance sheets and refocusing the business. Other purchases - including finance company fusa in Chile, Creditos Personales in Uruguay, Interandino and Mercantil in Peru - and the establishment of Banco Santander Philippines, all contribute to the group's impressive long-term earnings outlook.

In its home market, the retail banking arm has an enviable reputation for innovation and has been increasing its market share of total borrowed and managed funds to more than 7.4% in 1995 from just 4% in 1988. Santander has consistently gained more than 20% of the growth in deposits in the financial system, even during the Banesto acquisition. Its relaunched mortgage product,Superhipoteca, has helped the firm to increase its base of stable customers. Also, the ibos interbank operating system which hooks up banks to facilitate retail business has been a great success, linking the group with Royal Bank of Scotland and Citibank, among others. Santander Investments, the investment banking arm of the group, is successfully diversifying outside Spain, gaining an important franchise selling Latin American, peseta, south European and Spanish-related products into the us institutional market.


Capital-raising house

Morgan Stanley

In the 12 months to June, Morgan Stanley raised $65.7 billion in debt andequity capital in the international markets. It's not only the size of the amount raised that has won Morgan Stanley an award for excellence as a capital-raising house, but also the scope, quality and innovation it brings to the market. In the debt market, Morgan Stanley raised the equivalent of $42 billion in 180 deals in the international markets. The firm raised $23.7 billion of equity and equity-related capital in 53 deals over the past year. More than half of the value of its equity deals ($13.6 billion) has been from non-us issuers.

These range from the largest two non-privatization first public offerings ever, through to the second-largest convertible bond ever ($2 billion for Mitsubishi Bank) and the second-largest private secondary offer ever ($1.5 billion for Gucci). Demand for the Mitsubishi convertible climbed above $10 billion and the structure was innovative with a downward reset on the conversion price. For Gucci, the secondary offer followed on from the success of its $620 million IPO, the largest ever by an Italian company or by aluxury-goods company, for which Morgan Stanley acted as global coordinator and bookrunner.

In a highly competitive market, Morgan Stanley has carved a niche in the luxury goods area, doing deals for Bulgari and Harvey Nichols, in addition to Gucci.

Morgan Stanley has also had impressive results from its activities in the technology sector, particularly with the flotation of Netscape (although it did lose its team to Deutsche Morgan Grenfell immediately afterwards).

Top tierMerrill Lynch From raising funds for Swiss cantons to South African IPOs, Merrill has raised its profile in all the countries in which it operates.


Lead manager, Euro and global bonds

Merrill Lynch

Although league-table position is not everything in the Eurobond and global markets, Merrill Lynch is on top. Even stripping out the large number of asset-backed deals done out of the US market and sold as global bonds - a practice which encouraged the chief criticism of the bank's league-table position from its peers - Merrill Lynch is still number one.

Merrill's success in bringing dollar issues to the global market cannotbe ignored. Most notable was Walt Disney's $2.6 billion global, the largest-ever corporate issue and the largest corporate global. Merrill has had notable success opening out the global market. It led the United Mexican States' $1 billion 9.75% global due 2004, the largest emerging markets global issue, and brought the first central European sovereign global bond for Hungary.

But to answer Merrill's detractors, the firm is predominant not only in dollars - it has also managed to extend the diversity of the currencies in which it issues. Since last year, the bank has issued in 14 different currencies and is the leading non-domestic underwriter in French francs, Swiss francs and yen in 1995, and so far in 1996, and brought the first yen global for two years, a ¥100 billion global for FNMA.

And it's not just bulk. Merrill's record in terms of innovation has been outstanding over the past year. For General Electric, it launched the first Euro-Czech crown bond (10.5% due 1998) and the first Euro-rand issue.

Merrill does not pound the market, and its deals are priced to sell. One of the aspects that differentiates Merrill is its huge distribution networkand the balance it has been able to strike between its institutional and retail distribution, particularly in Europe.

Top tierSBC Warburg The top Eurobond house, SBC Warburg corners a large part of the traditional end of the market. The criticism that itr elies too heavily on the Swiss retail bid is often made, but it is an easy jibe. While the firm is not attempting to compete selling us domestic product, it has supplemented its retail sector strength with an increasingly strong institutional placement worldwide: the main example is the IADB's inaugural $1 billion, 10-year global bond. Institutionally targeted bonds includethe Republic of Portugal's ffr4 billion 12-year issue and the Halifax's £300 million subordinated issue.

Top tierMorgan Stanley The breadth of its deals is worthy of recognition. It raised $42 billion in 180 deals in the year to June, with a strong performance in corporate issues and high-yielders, plus abroad reach in globals.


International equity underwriter

Morgan Stanley

After having hidden its light for almost two years, Morgan Stanley has emergedas the dominant and most active underwriter of international equity. Although the firm had lagged in privatization deals, now that that market is becoming progressively less significant it has come to the forefront of the market for large private-sector corporate IPOs.

The firm has secured good franchises in the telecoms, transportation and luxury goods sectors, and 21 out of the 53 deals done over the period were for non-US issuers. In the primary market, the largest and second-largest non-privatization IPOs ever were underwritten by the firm. Morgan Stanley acted as global coordinator and bookrunner for both telecommunications company Lucent's $3 billion IPO/spin-off and Scania's $2.97 billion public offering. The former was one of the largest corporate restructurings ever; the latter, the first Swedish company to secure a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. In the technology sector, Morgan Stanley secured a $900 million secondary offering for French electronics company SGS Thomson (at a time when the market was extremely volatile) and also acted as global coordinator for Netscape.

Even though its privatization mandates remain limited, the firm did manage to turn around the $1.3 billion Argentaria privatization in a relatively short time - the bank was floated 49 days after the firm was appointed global coordinator - in a very unstable environment.

Top tier Goldman Sachs Goldman has had a good year in international equity, and next year will be an even better one, with a lot in the pipeline.More a deer than an elephant in terms of the size of deals it has been doing, it is also very nimble and able to adjust to the secular change in the market from privatizations to corporate capital raising.


Derivatives house

JP Morgan

A leading position in providing product across the board in all asset classes and an image of integrity and quality gives JP Morgan the edge. The firm has a fine reputation for analysis, managing risk, sophisticated researchand creating innovative derivative products.

In terms of product, JP Morgan's notional swap and interest rate derivatives book was $1.5 trillion last year, up 55% on 1994, and it executed 32,400 trades for 2,000 clients. Morgan dominates the market for dollar, yen and Deutschmark swaps and options. The firm trades foreign exchange derivative products in major currencies and has been developing short-term interest rate products, the latest being the overnight indexed swap.

JP Morgan has had an innovative year. The first inflation-linked private placement in lire was syndicated out by the firm last year. It was at the forefront of providing tailor-made hedging capabilities on a cross-asset class basis and also developing two-factor strategies. It has also beeninstrumental in promoting the growth of the credit derivatives market. Combiningequity risk with interest rate and foreign exchange risk across all major equity markets has been one of the more innovative client solutions provided by the firm; and at the same time, the underlying OTC business grew more than 40% in 1995.

Regulatory issues in the derivatives market are of obvious concern and JPMorgan has been active in the establishment of an ISDA task-force to standardized documentation. Through its risk-measurement system, RiskMetrics, and a risk management tool, FourFifteen, JP Morgan has been providing its clients with an important way of handling risk.

Top tierSBC Warburg SBC Warburg has made a rapid switch from products to solutions for clients, developing a very good base in equity derivatives, proprietary risk management technology, and exchange-traded instruments. It is strong in cross-product activity.

Top tierCitibank Citibank has a clear focus: the client isking. That goes for derivatives, too, and the house is driven entirely byclient demand. Citi is getting further into its equity business, undertaking equity derivatives with around 60% of its clients, and regards derivatives as it does corporate finance.

One to watchChase The new Chase combines Chemical's high-volume commodity-driven operations with Chase's experience in lower-volume structured products, and huge customer base and penetration. The mix is a heady one, and is already working.


Most innovative derivatives house

Merrill Lynch

Being good at selling ever-more wacky products is no longer a sufficient or even appropriate criterion for choosing the most innovative derivatives house. The key is tailor-made solutions for individual clients or markets. In this category Merrill Lynch scores highly. For instance, Merrill underscored its position as leading derivative structured finance arranger in commodity-linked deals with its $250 million five-year aluminium-linked loan for Dubal, asmelter in Dubai. This set out to guarantee that the price of aluminium would be high enough to guarantee and justify the return on equity for seven years. But Merrill also excels in introducing interesting products. These include economic indicator derivatives, Merrill Lynch's fixed- and floating-rate options on GDP, offering hedges and quasi-hedges, while running a warehouseof risk.

On Merrill Lynch's own account, the firm has been establishing credit derivatives in the form of country default-linked notes (for Turkey) and the securitization of the country's swap portfolio. The potential for such credit instruments, if a warehouse system is developed to offer mismatches on exposure, could be huge. Merrill has also been at the forefront of developing interesting structures for emerging markets, ranging from special purpose vehicles inthe Netherlands for Thai bonds to avoid domestic withholding tax to the first asset swap into dollars of Russian GKOs. In currency options, Merrill has pushed out the envelope in terms of long-dated (30-year) tree-currency chooser options targeted at Japanese investors and listing the first best-of-two currency option on the American Stock Exchange. And in third-generation derivatives, those exotic derivatives using three-factor structures, multiple currencies and markets, or advanced path-dependent option structures, Merrill is a market leader.


Risk adviser

Bankers Trust

The Procter & Gamble scandal weighs hard on Bankers Trust's reputation in derivatives. But the lessons from that episode have given the bank an eye for risk management that is second to none. Its experience with its internal risk measurement and management system has helped it build up an impressive risk management advisory group over the past five years. Where Bankers comes out on top is that risk advisory is far from a product sell, and has become more akin to a corporate finance or mergers and acquisitionsfunction. And while other areas of the firm may have sold derivative products incorrectly in the past, the risk advisory group's reputation is endorsed by the fact that throughout the whole P&G debacle clients have stillbeen coming in.

The firm's internal system was used as the basis for developing the industry-standard measure of risk-adjusted return on capital (Raroc). Last year BT launched its risk management system for clients, called Raroc 2020, which measures risk at both an aggregate and individual level on a tailored basis.

The risk management advisory group provides a tailored service that goes beyond just quantifying risk. A full-scale risk management advisory assignment, such as that for Coral Energy Resources, a new joint venture between Shell Oil and Tejas Gas, in July 1995, often leads to the company changing the whole way it runs its business. In another case, Bankers Trust was brought in by Abbey National Treasury Services' back office on a contract basis in order to apply its dynamic knowledge of risk management to the allocation of capital on the basis of operational risk.

One odd outcome is that frequently after looking at all policies and procedures across a company, the actual derivatives activity falls or is at least simplified.

Top tier JP Morgan


Foreign exchange bank

Citibank

"If it ain't broke, make it better." Eighteen years at the topof Euromoney's 1996 global foreign exchange poll, and that motto still describes Citibank's foreign exchange service as it continues to improve. With 80 treasury centres trading around 140 currencies, Citibank has the widest spread of treasury operations of any bank. Not only is Citi competitive in OECD markets and a leader in foreign exchange options and currency forwards, it is also the predominant bank in emerging market currencies. Citibank also makes the most money from foreign exchange trading revenues: nearly $1.1 billion in 1995, almost double its 1994 revenues and close to twice as much as its nearest rival.

Technology is a key driver in the foreign exchange business and customers demand continuity, speed, consistency and excellence. To keep meeting their expectations, Citibank is aiming at giving customers a single point of entry into the entire Citibank network, giving them access to outstanding services at any time, anywhere.

This price distribution would make it no harder, say, to get a price onthe Mexican peso in Helsinki than a price on dollar/Deutschmark. And the bank is gearing up for the world after European monetary union by centralizing pricing in Europe into fewer centres and investing heavily in its sales force and common market data platforms.

Looking forward, Citibank's strength in emerging market currencies makes it uniquely placed to stay ahead in foreign exchange markets post-Emu.

One to watchChase The merged Chase and Chemical are challenging the leading player in the foreign exchange markets.


Syndicated loan house

Chase

One area in which the new Chase benefits immediately from its merger with Chemical is in syndicated loans. Chase's US syndication team, headed by former Chemical man Jimmy Lee, is very highly regarded in the US and has the longest tenure of any in the industry in a market where experience does count. The leading arranger and provider of syndicated loans in the US for the past four years, Chase is making a push in Europe, exporting technology and people from the US. In the first quarter of 1996 alone, Chase did the highest number of deals in the European syndication market and has played a significant role in acquisition financing for recent large UK transactions, including the £2.5 billion Granada Forte deal, gpu-Cinergy/Midlands(£1.5 billion) and Trafalgar House/Kværner (£450 million). In Latin America, Chase was the top arranger of Latin loans last year and is developing high-yield deals in Asia.

Chase has experience in complex transactions and getting high-value deals in the US. In 1995 it arranged $7.5 billion for Westinghouse's acquisition of cbs, the largest sub-investment grade acquisition financing completed since the RJR Nabisco transaction in 1989. Chase's efforts in convincing the directors, advisers and management of CBS that financing was possibleand in assuring underwriting banks that targeted hold levels could be achieved, brought in commitments of over $7.5 billion five days from launch; a totalof $14 billion was committed in the end by over 50 lenders worldwide. Morerecently, KMart has approached Chase to arrange a $3.7 billion facility for the company.

Top tierJP Morgan JP Morgan has a knack of winning prestigiousmandates and uses its customer contacts to great effect.

Top tierCitibank. An ability to bring unusual deals to themarket and its emerging market contacts makes Citibank a class act.

One to watchDeutsche Morgan Grenfell DMG has moved out ofits niche in Scandinavia and has been successful in convincing top European corporate borrowers, such as Daimler Benz and Volkswagen, to access the Euro-loan market. dmg was the top fund provider in the European market last year, but the question is how will it broaden its reach?


Project-finance house

Barclays

In a market that has all but commoditized, unless a bank knows its clients' specific needs in project finance it may as well just concentrate on plain vanilla. With many larger companies able to access plain-vanilla finance on their own, what will differentiate the project-finance houses of the future will be their ability to give expert advice on how to access capital markets as a whole. Barclays has a long-standing reputation in project-finance advisory and its integrated approach is providing a real benchmark for other firms. For instance, BZW acted as adviser, arranger and sole underwriter for Mission Energy, the development subsidiary of SCECorp, in its £680million ($1.04 billion) purchase of First Hydro Pumped Storage Business from the UK National Grid in December. This involved BZW launching one ofthe longest-dated corporate sterling bonds in the UK for First Hydro. The£400 million, 25-year unrated bond was secured by power plants that get their revenues from trading power. The demand for the bonds, priced aggressively at 115 basis points over gilts, was so great that a £200million term loan was never drawn down. Even two years ago, this sort of deal was not possible and is a significant departure from traditional long-term off-take contracts.

In terms of arranging, BZW is top tier. The firm has a virtual monopoly of business out of the UK, but is diversified into most regions.

Top tierCitibank Citibank merged five decentralized regional project finance units into one global project finance group in October, recruiting Morgan Stanley's Christopher Beale to manage the business. Its focus on 144A projects has been enhanced and since October the firm has led two successful 144A projects: a $150 million ($229.5 million) high-yieldfor Colombian cellular company Comcel and a $162 million 18-year investment-grade issue for Petropower in Chile.

Top tierChase Chase has a very strong mandate in power in Latin America and is very strong where significant underwriting is involved.The Chemical merger brings with it a greater blue-chip focus and, within the new global investment bank platform, it will be able to rely on different deal teams.

One to watchABNAmro


Emerging market bank

Citibank

Citibank's emerging markets business is booming. Although last year wasa record it will not make the firm rest on its laurels, because wholesale emerging market banking is such a core business, and Citi has a clear strategy for its emerging market operations. In corporate banking, which earned the bank $1.1 billion last year and $393 million in the first quarter of 1996,Citibank is targeting the top 1,400 companies. In consumer banking, the top 20% are targeted; overall, consumer banking earnings were $804 million last year and $224 million in the first quarter of this year.

This long-term strategy goes hand-in-hand with the firm's commitment tothe development of local markets: as the economies grow and succeed, so too will Citi's customer base.

Citibank has an unrivalled ability to deliver both complex and simple wholesalebanking products, from cash management for oil companies in central Asia to currency trading services for local banks in Vietnam. Also, the firmhas been involved in many significant deals, such as leading the $1 billion Mexico bond offering, just nine months after the peso crisis, through to arranging the first auto loan receivables securitization in Asia, the HK$500million ($64.6 million) asset-backed floating-rate certificates for HongKong Super Auto 1.

Top tierING ING remains a pioneer in many areas of the emerging world, bringing wholesale banking services to small and multinational companies alike. Now with 84 banking offices in 55 countries, mainly in emerging markets, the Dutch bank continues to grow.

One to watchABNAmro ABN Amro continues to play on its universal banking strengths in emerging markets and has a disciplined strategy governing its 700 branches in 67 countries, 121 in Latin America where it has beenpresent for 100 years. In terms of capital raising, abn has led a number of successful deals, including the $300 million split dollar/yen deal for Electrobras, the first split-currency deal for an emerging markets issuer.


Government bond trading house

JP Morgan

Emulated by its competitors, JP Morgan has an outstanding franchise in governmentbond trading, with the largest and longest-standing local presence in themarkets. It has a local presence in all the G10 countries' primary and secondarymarkets (with the exception of Sweden), giving it immediate access to localclients and distribution. Moreover, JP Morgan has secured a reputation forconsistency that is paying off. The firm is frequently the core providerof liquidity-to-cash government bonds, strips, debt options and repo.

JP Morgan's debt and economic research capabilities are highly regardedand two products in particular are industry standards: the JP Morgan GovernmentBond Index, which covers 16 countries, and its RiskMetrics risk measurementand management tool.

Rivals sometimes complain that Morgan suffers from coordination problems,though the firm's traders are fully integrated across countries througha "hoot-'n'-holler" system. The firm has the advantage of real-timedata, analytics and pricing models across all markets and total informationfluidity. This gives the firm the ability to track and execute rapidly.

Its status is second to none, and it has been working with several countries'treasuries and central banks to promote the development of European governmentstrip and repo markets and innovate in debt securitization.

Top tierMerrill Lynch Number one in Euromoney's May government bond traders poll, Merrill has learnt from its peers that withdomestic investors in the driving seat, getting closer to them is the keyto success. Merrill steers a careful course between an effective and flexibleregional trading presence and more centralized risk control.


Eurobond trading house

SBC Warburg

A stable and unique structure for its Eurobond trading operations and adeep knowledge of the market puts SBC Warburg on top. The firm has a strongteam - one of the most stable in the market. In terms of structure, thefirm has separated credit, government and derivatives trading and, likeseveral of the top houses, does not allow directional trading (trading interest-raterisk) on its credit fixed-income desks. This allows its operations to betransparent, and focused on the needs of the client. All credit productsare integrated in the same pool with the same management and are valuedon similar models. The integrated trading books are instead split into threebooks. The front book concentrates on liquid markets and underwriting books,and accounts for the lion's share of client business and around 65% of totalturnover. The middle book manages asset swap and structured client business,while the back book trades distressed debt and credit derivatives. Thismeans clients get the appropriate price service at the same time as beingsupported by the appropriate technology, and they can focus on less liquidmarket sectors. The structure allows SBC Warburg, as a market-maker in Eurobondsand globals in over 12 currencies, to provide seamless product deliveryacross all major currencies without dividing by region.

The firm has an internationally integrated NEXT-based trading platform thatupdates bond prices continually on a spread basis, in line with underlyinggovernment and swaps markets. The trading platform has been extended inthe retail distribution area, so each Swiss branch has an order and executionsystem.

Apart from its strong Swiss base, the firm is building a solid reputationin the US by having a good market-maker in international dollar product.This contrasts with US houses that focus on their dollar product out ofNew York and trade international product out of London. Its syndicate andprimary trading desks are integrated worldwide, with teams in London, HongKong and New York.

Top tier Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs gives itself an edgewith a clear focus on return on capital, running its Eurobond trading operationsas a profit centre, not just a support operation for the primary market,and by moving credit research and sophisticated derivatives staff into theEurobond business.

Top tierMerrill Lynch. Merrill's huge distribution networkpays dividends, and it is adept at trying to maintain the integrity of everydeal it does in the primary market.


Mergers and acquisitions adviser

Morgan Stanley

Trying to define success in the mergers and acquisitions business is a trickytask. But, by any measure, Morgan Stanley is going from strength to strength.In an operation broadly split between US, non-US and cross-border business,it has been involved in nine of the 15 big deals in the world markets sincethe beginning of 1995, four on a sole basis. In part its success comes downto its early realization that industry specialization would be the maincause of future business: it was right. The firm has advised nine out ofthe 11 largest healthcare transactions; the most recent included the $6.7billion Pharmacia-Upjohn merger, and that of Sandoz and Ciba Geigy ($28.2billion, creating $20 billion in shareholder value).

In the converging telecoms and media industries, Morgan Stanley has advisedplayers such as Nynex Corp in its $31.6 billion merger with Bell Atlanticand AT&T with its restructuring and demerger, alongside Belgacom's $2.5billion 50% strategic stake sale, the largest strategic sale in telecoms.In the financial sector, Morgan Stanley was adviser to Chemical bank inthe $9.9 billion Chase merger.

The firm has had a hand in many of the most significant corporate restructuringsover the past year, including GPA's debt restructuring and negotiation withGE Capital and over 100 banks, and Volkswagen in the dissolution of itsAutolatina joint venture with Ford. The firm has been a major player inintroducing US-style defences in a variety of European markets, heraldinga wave of shareholder activism. The same principal was applied to Fortein its radical restructuring defence from Granada.

Top tierGoldman Sachs Goldman has been the major force inthe UK regional electricity companies sector over the past year.

One to watch CSFirst Boston CS First Boston is becominga significant player as an M&A adviser in global transactions.


Euro-commercial-paper house

SBC Warburg

It's a long-term, tough game, and commercial paper is a relatively opaquemarket, with fewer and fewer players making headway.

SBC Warburg has made giant strides in increasing the amounts of Euro-commercial-paperit has outstanding in a market where volume is king. SBCW has a strong franchiseby dint of its market share, placement diversity, ability to deliver syntheticproduct and innovative approach to market development. With nearly 400 ECPprogrammes, its market share is around a quarter of total outstandings.

Two years ago the dollar sector accounted for over 85% of the ecp market.Now nearly half the market is multi-currency. sbcw is number one dealerin ecp denominated in a wide range of currencies, and has a strong marketposition in 19 different currencies. Dedicated ecp operations are in London,Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

The firm has innovated with emerging market issuers, arranging, the firstChinese programme, for Citic, and the first Korean South African, CzechRepublic and Russian programmes. It arranged the largest new ecp programmeof the past year, a $2 billion deal for the Canadian Wheat Board, in whichit is the largest player.

The firm leads with its ability to create synthetic instruments and to provideissuers with a wider access to the market.

Top tierLehman Lehman has suffered a number of losses thisyear but remains a formidable force, especially in terms of distribution,and is in it for the long term. Noteworthy is the ffr35 billion ($6.77 billion)global cp arrangership Lehman won from French welfare debt refinancing agencyCades.

Top tierCitibank Citibank has a dominant franchise in thecurrency markets, a factor it uses to make it an important player in ECP.

One to watchBZW


EMTN house

Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is the all-round medium-term-note house in terms of globaldistribution capacity, innovation and market respect. Over the last threeyears it has actively increased the amount of resources dedicated to itsMTN operations, and is now one of the largest and most active arrangersand dealers of Euro-MTNs. It is also a named dealer on more than 240 ofthe 607 programmes that were in the market in early June, representing morethan 60% of total programme volume. The firm's franchise is very broad.Last year, though, it was dominated by yen issuance (close to half of unsyndicatedissuance was in yen in 1995) and boasted the strongest yen franchise ofany non-Japanese house. Over 130 borrowers' new EMTN issues across 15 currencieswere executed by the house last year. The firm also arranged 13 new programmes,including benchmark issues such as Siemens, the Council of Europe, DeanWitter Discover & Co's $300 million five-year frn and Comerica Bank's$300 million five-year FRN. Morgan Stanley also undertook arrangershipsfor high-profile sovereigns, including Denmark and Sweden's complex jointlyguaranteed dual programme, Oresundskonsortiet. Other large, complicatedand ground-breaking deals include Mitsubishi Corporation Finance's ¥100billion ($923.9 million) three-tranche issue, Société Générale's¥50 billion one-year trade and Beta Finance's first public bond issue,a $200 million two-year floater.

Morgan Stanley's strategic approach to mtn works well for issuers. Onceit arranges a programme it keeps a close eye on the legal aspects of programmes,stays flexible, executes deals well and follows up. Liquidity in the firm'sprivate EMTNS is also enhanced by its liability management system, highdebt ratings and sound capital structure.

Top tier Goldman Sachs Euro-MTN dealers are judged on thebasis of distribution, origination and secondary trading, and Goldman performsextremely well in all. It is selective in the arrangerships it seeks andis a major player in the non-syndicated end of the market.

Top tierMerrill Lynch Merrill has maintained its positionat the top of the official league tables and is the dominant firm in arrangerships.

Most improvedABN Amro Having only started its operation inApril 1995 with a team from SG Warburg, ABN Amro is now threatening to moveout of its stronghold in guilders. It already boasts volumes of over $2billion equivalent for 40 issuers in 13 currencies.


Underwriter of asset-backed debt

Citibank

Credit cards, cars and mortgages form the heartland of asset-backed debtsecurities. Citi excels in these areas. But it is in the introduction ofnew asset classes by new issuers in new regions that Citibank puts itselfin front. It is a leading force in private placements, public issuance andmulti-seller vehicles.

The firm structured and led over 200 transactions worth over $24 billionin 18 countries in 1995. The larger deals have been in credit cards: includingthe development of trust liquidity certificates securitizing $750 millionof Citibank's own credit card portfolio, by using a hybrid bond-optionsstructure: this allows an issuer to use the cashflows from the portfoliofor liquidity in order to reduce costs, and has since been replicated elsewhere.Citibank has also been securitizing us credit cards overseas, opening upthe market to the first yen issue in July 1995 and the first Deutschmarkissue in April 1996. In the car rental sector the firm organized a $1.5billion securitization to finance the purchase of a fleet by a major uscar rental company.

Citi continues to open up the asset-backed market, structuring and arrangingthe ¥22 billion ($2.84 billion) securitization of future Japanese filmroyalty streams from News Corporation/Fox, undertaking the first Germanmortgage-backed security and the first Italian Law 52 multi-seller vehicle.

More impressive still is the fact that $1 billion of the firm's asset-backedbusiness was in emerging markets. And over the last year, Citi has scoredmany firsts here, including the first agricultural securitization from anemerging market (Brazilian Ceval Alimentos' $150 million securitizationof future soya bean product export receivables), the first securitizationout of the former Soviet Union (for GE Turkmenistan) and the highest-ratedasset-backed security out of Brazil for Alcoa Aluminio.

Top tier Morgan Stanley The significance of the $4 billiongpa deal cannot be understated. The airlines group deal is as one of themost innovative uses of securitization to restructure a company: 229 planeswere used both to raise debt on the back of future lease rental streamsand as collateral to pay off bank loans.

Top tierMerrill Lynch Merrill now devotes as many staff toasset-backed as it does for corporate bond underwriting, and this is payingoff league table position.The firm was lead underwriter for $20 billionin public transactions last year - half in the last quarter.

One to watchNomura


Emerging market debt underwriter

Nomura

Nomura has secured itself a position as one of the single largest bookrunnersof emerging market debt since 1995. In the year to May 1996, it was bookrunnerfor over $7 billion of emerging market debt in 47 issues. Having been oneof the earliest players on the ground in eastern Europe, Nomura pursueda strategy of being selective about the issuers it worked with, startingby gaining considerable experience with sovereign issuers then graduallymoving down the spectrum. The firm, so far, has the monopoly on underwritingdebt in the Baltic states, including deals for the Republic of Latvia, Republicof Lithuania and City of Tallinn. In Latin America, while not in the Bradymarkets, Nomura has had a degree of success, particularly out of Argentinaand Brazil. Its Republic of Brazil yen jumbo helped reopen the primary marketfor emerging market borrowers after the peso crisis and was increased insize from ¥50 billion to ¥80 billion. In Asia, most of its businesshas been done in the form of samurai bonds.

The firm has focused on sovereign product, so far, partly because it playsto the firm's distribution strength in the Japanese market.

Nomura is now looking at other credits and is pinpointing the private sectorin eastern Europe. With its track record of moving in rapidly as a marketis deregulated, it stands a good chance of success.

Top tierDeutsche Morgan Grenfell DMG's success in Augustwith a five-year dm1 billion offering for the Republic of Argentina spreadat 342 basis points over Bunds helped cement the firm's reputation in theDeutschmark sector for emerging market issuers. This came on top of noteworthydeals for the National Bank of Hungary and Banco Bradesco's first foreigncurrency bond issue, and DMG is also carving itself a niche in the dollarsector.

Top tier JP Morgan A number of well-received deals have putJP Morgan on the map in emerging markets. These include opening up the Eurozlotymarket, regenerating India with ICICI and introducing Ayala Corp from thePhilippines to the market.

Top tierCS First Boston


Domestic bank in an emerging market

Bradesco

Winning this award for an unprecedented second time, Brazil's Banco Bradescojust keeps improving. No frills, no flashiness, the country's largest privatesector bank posted net profits of $555 million last year, and its capitalizationas a percentage of risk-weighted assets soared to 27.2% - the highest inthe region.

A natural caution, born of its experience with 20 years of hyper-inflation,means that the bank focuses on providing a strong bulwark against the vagariesof its home market rather than a stupendous return on equity. This was 11.2%in 1995. But as a conservative bank, with a large proportion of its sharesheld by charities, Bradesco is more an institution than just another bank.

The firm's dominant franchise is in providing retail banking services forthe medium- and low-income section of the population through its 1,855 branchesin Brazil, and it has 5.2 million current and 13.2 million savings accounts.This means that in a time of relative monetary stability its lower-incomecustomer base has become more wealthy, as their savings are no longer erodedas rapidly by inflation. Bradesco is strong in all areas, including insuranceand leasing subsidiaries. Though old-fashioned, it is embracing electronicbanking and has an agreement with Microsoft to work with Money software;its processing abilities are envied by its competitors. Bradesco has thrivedby knowing its own market intimately, and by realizing experience reallydoes count. With only two branches outside Brazil, and no plans to becomemore international, the firm wins by sticking to what it knows best.


Global custodian

Chase

Chase Global Investor Services is the world's largest custodian, with around$3 trillion in assets under its aegis, according to the firm's figures.It has not stood still since it won this award last year, though. In 1995the firm won 130 new clients. More significantly still, it has added 25new clients since the Chemical Bank merger was announced, adding $125 billionin new assets under custody. The merger also added capabilities in areassuch as broker-dealer clearing and securities lending, along with Chemical'sstrong reputation on Wall Street.

Chase's agent bank network covers 66 markets, with four added last yearand a further eight to be added in 1996. It has an unrivalled capacity toserve its clients using local languages across time zones.

Chase's clearly defined strategy on a country-by-country basis helped itto become the first foreign custodian selected by a major German corporation,Hoechst, to provide global custody for its pension assets. It has also beenable to use its leverage, as custodian of choice for US mutual funds, toremain their custodian as they move into emerging markets.

Chase continues to invest heavily in its custody, accounting and performance-measurementsystems, and will pour around $75 million into its operations this year.The firm has introduced extra foreign exchange capabilities, including anautomated block trading tool to improve the rates fund managers achievethrough aggregating and netting trades across counterparties, and has re-engineeredits settlement capability to allow clients trading with Chase to initiateboth sides of foreign exchange settlement electronically. Its global "cashsweep" product allows clients to access short-term investment fundsin different currencies or separate accounts for different investment opportunitiesfor their currency balances outside the US.

Top tierCitibank Citi has a very different profile to Chase,acting more often as a sub-custodian, but one that provides serious competition.It is integrating its operations to a much larger extent than its chiefrival, a policy that may pay off in terms of reducing costs, cutting downon fails, enhancing its cross-border capabilities and dominating a numberof key companies over the long term.

One to watchBank of New York A prestigious customer franchise.The dominant US service provider. Huge and efficient. These are all phrasesthat can be applied to Bank of New York's custody operations. The BankAmericaand JP Morgan acquisitions have substantially increased its presence inglobal custody.

The firm has retained most of JP Morgan's clients and has since won newbusiness, including Norwich Union's £11 billion uk custody business.Time will tell whether domiciling its global operations in Brussels willpay off.


Best at bringing new issuers to market

Nomura

Four or five years ago, when Nomura first went into eastern Europe, fewwould have imagined that the Japanese house would have had so much successin bringing emerging European issuers to the international debt markets.Nomura does not have masses of staff in the region, nor has it attemptedto go for a scatter-shot approach. Instead, the firm started with the sovereignissuers, the Czech government, say, and from thence was able to secure mandatesfrom the City of Prague. This selective tactic has been replicated acrossits eastern European operations and has been instrumental in giving Nomuraa virtual monopoly on issuing for the Baltic States.

The firm has proven itself to be extremely agile in nipping into a marketas soon as it is deregulated, as shown by its approach towards the GermanLandesbanks. The largest single provider for German borrowers since 1991,Nomura brought the first issue for L-Bank to the dollar market, initiatedthree dollar trades in two and a half months for DSL, reopening the marketafter the February employment figures, engaging in the first MTN trade forRentenbank and has brought $2.5 billion in German securities to the marketin the first five months of 1996. Europe is not the only region in whichNomura has excelled. Its geographical approach helps it spot arbitrage opportunitiesand potential deregulation, spanning both investment grade and emergingmarket borrowers, straight bonds and asset-backed securities anywhere fromTunisia (Central Bank of Tunisia) to the Philippines (National Power Corp).


Most successful strategic merger

SBC Warburg

SBC seems to have a knack of judging just what makes a good strategic fit.Only one year on from the purchase of the UK's biggest merchant bank, SGWarburg, it all seems very natural. SBC Warburg now has the highest returnon equity of any Swiss bank - 14.1% in 1995 - the merger has been fullyintegrated across all 40 of the companies in which the firm operates, andthe firm has won new business and actually increased its client base. Backin July this success seemed far from assured. The merger was huge, rapidand climactic. SBC went into Warburg and ripped its guts out, announcinga 10% cut in the headcount across the newly merged group. At the time, thisseemed to many to be a shakeout that would rattle the firm to pieces. However,by being totally frank, the Swiss house was able to reduce the uncertaintyand keep both sides of the franchise: SBC's trading capabilities in foreignexchange, bonds and derivatives, and Warburg's prestigious name and giantpresence in corporate finance.

While SBC Warburg did lose several high-profile corporate clients - specificallyHalifax - many have returned, new business has been generated and the firmhas retained its position in advisory and broking. The Cassandras shouldhave known better. SBC's track record in buying firms that fit is secondto none. When the firm bought the Chicago-based derivatives house O'Connorin 1992, the culture and senior staff of that operation rapidly became thatof sbc itself. The same goes for the purchase of fund management operationBrinson. Now SBC Warburg is a super-bank, and the status this confers interms of client respect and capability means the firm gives its competitorssleepless nights.


International equity research house

Merrill Lynch

It is probably too early to judge who will win the race to achieve globalequity research coverage. Will it be the firms that have large numbers ofstaff on the ground or will it be those that divide the world into industrialsectors and look at it on a pan-international basis? Merrill Lynch providesthe best example of a firm that applies both principles, and it has successfullytransformed its equity research capabilities in a very short period.

The firm has 260 analysts globally, covering 3,000 stocks and 50 countriesout of 22 locations. Interestingly, there are now more analysts in Londonthan in the US, particularly since Smith New Court's teams were broughton board. With one of the largest research budgets, around $200 million,it has one of the lowest research-to-revenue budgets. It is attempting toglobalize its research product, a factor that will emerge as one of thefirm's biggest competitive advantages. Merrill has identified around 20industries amenable to being analyzed on a global basis and is beginningwith the first six in July. Another factor that differentiates Merrill isthat its analysts are independent, and this is not just a nominal independence.No deals can be done within the company without the express backing of analysts:they can - and do - kill deals.

In the future, it will be interesting to see how the Smith New Court analystsare integrated, as more than half of them are looking at the UK. Three disparateapproaches - UK equities, pan-European sectoral research and country research- have to be integrated. The same goes for FG in Madrid and Davis BorkumHare in South Africa. It will be several years before any house managesto globalize its research fully, but Merrill is well on its way.

Top tierMorgan Stanley Morgan Stanley is well down the routeto globalized sectoral research, so its analysts can look at industry sectorsin a way that appeals to global investors. It is, as yet, a niche productbut may pay off in the future.

Top tierSBCWarburg SBC Warburg's huge equity research department,with 278 analysts tracking 3,330 companies, is very highly regarded by itspeers. Fewer than a quarter of its analysts are UK analysts, and a further25% focus on European companies.


Emerging markets research house

SBC Warburg

For SBC Warburg in its emerging markets research efforts, presence is everything.The research department is internationally organized, and most of the analystsare members of cross-border international sector teams in addition to beinglocal analysts. This gives the firm an edge on cross-border valuation techniqueswithin industries such as banks, energy, mining, telecoms and utilities.

The emerging markets research team is determined to produce research asgood as its developed market product, and this shows. One of the areas inwhich the SBC Warburg research approach is best replicated in the emergingmarkets is in the firm's Asian research. Around 25% of SBC Warburg's 278-stronganalysts team are based around the Pacific rim, centred in Hong Kong. Thefirm steals a march on its competitors in its Asian credit research, whichis second to none.

Over the past year, sbcw has increased its commitment to its research effort.Specialist country analysts have been added in 10 countries, including theacquisition of JD Anderson in South Africa. The firm has also begun a brandedglobal emerging market equity publication covering strategy, applying techniquesof valuation used by the developed markets teams and newly formulated methodsof valuation especially developed for emerging markets. This product isbeing reinforced by weekly technical analysis in emerging markets.

Top tierING Barings ING Barings has a formidable reputationin research in Asia and other emerging markets, with huge resources dedicatedto on-the-ground research. However, the loss of the firms' Latin Americaresearch team in June has dealt a blow to the firm's prospects of maintainingoutstanding performance in research.

One to watchCitibank Citibank's emerging market currencyoutlook is a top-notch product, and as Citi puts its emerging market equityresearch into gear, it will soon become formidable across the board.



Best brokerage firm

Merrill Lynch

With this award, Euromoney is striving to recognize firms that provideexcellence in secondary market equity activity. To a large extent this awardis measured on intangibles such as the quality and scale, and success ofa firm's equity franchise.

Merrill Lynch has the highest market share of a domestic firm in the US,and more recently in the UK, since the purchase of Smith New Court. In othermarkets it is either the leader or among the top three non-domestic players.It has a broader coverage of clients than many of its competitors - especiallyin the number of institutions it covers. The value it adds for its customersis in terms of its market knowledge, product knowledge, top-quality executionand private client distribution.

In the battleground of continental Europe, where it is harder to judge howdifferent houses rate, Merrill is a key player in all markets. It has broughtan excellent research and trading operation to the party, and is particularlyadept at block trades. Merrill is also positioned to become the brokingfirm of the future, which is likely to be one that can help institutionalclients with the development of their risk profile and, at the same time,execute deals. Already, the firm has been hired as a consultant to a UKretail company pension fund to rejig its asset allocation. Taking risk onlyto facilitate customer transactions is already a hallmark of the firm.

Top tier
Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley has integrated its equityand equity-related products fully and is a market-maker in many large stocks,covering institutional investors and supported by global sector research.It has been at the forefront of providing solutions to investors such asprogramme trading and restructuring pension funds (such as the $10 billionrestructuring of the State of Connecticut pension fund).

One to watchSBC Warburg

Compiled and written by Katharine Morton


  

Regional awards

Western Europe

Best Bank Citibank

Citibank was top of the Euromoney forex poll in May, for the 18th consecutive year. Citibank is represented in every western European country, with 500 branches, 1,000 offices and 13,000 employees. The bank's revenue for 1995 was $3.5 billion and it has assets of $256.8 billion. With a presence in corporate, consumer and private banking as well as dominance in foreign exchange - especially in the emerging market currencies - it is difficult to look beyond Citibank for this award. It is the strongest of the foreign banks in at least three western European countries, and with a growing strength in the old eastern bloc countries, Citi is still the institution that can best lay claim to being a truly pan-European force in banking.

Best securities firm SBC Warburg

SBC Warburg ranks top in Euromoney's European brokers' poll, for pan-European equity research. Warburg was always highly regarded for its research skills, but until the merger, was possibly lacking in execution skills and this was reflected in Euromoney's polls. SBC brought the trading skill and capital that Warburg was lacking, and together, the two institutions make a good combination. The merger has been costly in financial terms, but seems to be continuing to work well.

SBC Warburg was top of May's Euromoney unweighted Eurobond trading poll and was also the bookrunner for the largest percentage share of Eurobond issues - 5.95% worth $24.63 billion - since our last awards.


Eastern Europe

Best bank ING

ING won best foreign bank in
Poland, Russia and Slovakia, and is widely represented throughout the area, with offices from the Baltic to the Black Sea. It is the largest foreign financial services employer in the region and is particularly strong in Poland where it was the first foreign bank to receive a banking licence. In 1995 ING acquired holdings in Bank Slaski and Bank Przemyslowo-Handlowy (BPH). It remains innovative: it was the first bank in Poland to perform a zloty currency swap.

ING is diversified in its activities as well as its coverage. In
Hungary, where it has acted on behalf of McDonald's with a three-year debt issue, it is the only foreign bank to have a retail commitment as well as a corporate banking presence. It is the also largest issuer of commercial paper in the country, a Ft15 billion ($120 million) programme.

In the Slovak republic, ING is the only foreign bank with representation outside the capital, in
Kosice. ING was the first bank for 20 years to open a branch in Romania. ING's diversification and coverage are the key to this award. 

Best securities firm Creditanstalt

A broad geographical spread within the region gives Creditanstalt the edge over its competitors. The bank does not cover
Africa or South America, and so its efforts are concentrated on central and eastern Europe - the only niche market in which it is involved. Creditanstalt's strategy is one of expansion, with $200 million invested over the last five years. It has a combined total of 1,600 employees in the region and claims to offer the widest range of services of any foreign-owned institution: investment-banking, commercial banking and corporate finance work. The investment banking subsidiaries in Hungary, and the Czech and SlovakRepublics are particularly strong.

In January 1996, the Czech privatization fund run by Creditanstalt was sold to Czech Agrobank. The fund was the first of its kind in the
Czech republic and, at the time, held stock in 130 companies.

In the first five months of 1996, Creditanstalt AG's operating profits grew by 40% to $241.3 million - in no small part due to its strength in the eastern European capital markets. The Austrian government is hoping to sell its 70% stake in Creditanstalt in the near future and Creditanstalt's strength in the eastern European capital markets must be one of the factors that will attract potential buyers.


Asia

Best bank Citibank

Citibank's presence in the Asia-Pacific region is the most extensive and the most profitable of any financial institution. With
Asia generating $2.7 billion of revenues and $781 million of net income in 1995, Citibank has already achieved what most banks can only aspire to in terms of truly globalizing its operations. A 90-year history in Asia has helped to cement key relationships at government and corporate levels, while its localization policy -with 97% of its 15,000 staff being local hires - allows it to present a genuine Asian face.

Best securities firm ING

Those who wrote off Barings in the aftermath of Leeson apparently spoke too soon. Still the best at research-led stock broking in
Asia, it has leveraged off its extensive branch network throughout the region to increase turnover and profitability. It has similarly lost none of its vim in equity capital markets and finished creditably high in the league tables in what was a difficult year for all. The merger with ING has proved surprisingly painless with most key personnel so far remaining on board.


Latin America

Best bank Citibank

Citibank is the closest thing there is to a regional Latin American bank. It has been in the region more than 80 years and operates in 22 countries, where it employs nearly 12,000 people in 152 branches. It serves about 4,700 corporate clients and 4 million retail accounts. In most of these countries it is perceived to be the brand leader. No other bank in the region has comparable coverage, depth of experience or breadth of relationships.

Citibank's strength is based partly on its long history in the region, where US multinationals are major investors, partly on preferential treatment- in some countries it was the only foreign bank allowed to operate until recent liberalization. It is also based on a policy of local recruitment and promotion (attracting talented people); an impressive network of business and government contacts; a reputation for safety, efficiency and discretion and an ability to exploit rapidly changing local conditions, from volatile economic and financial trends to complex tax, legal and regulatory developments.

Africa

Best bank Citibank

Citibank remains pre-eminent in
Africa, mainly because it is the only bank which shows continued commitment to the whole region. From north to south of the continent, the bank is strengthening its hand, whether it be through hiring a greater number of employees in Tunisia or by its commitment to opening an office in Angola in 1996 (scheduled for July). Citibank has also opened an office in Tanzania. Such pioneering work in the less developed- or completely undeveloped - markets of the continent is a Citibank hallmark. However, its grip on the more sophisticated markets in Africa also remains strong. This was demonstrated by the roles Citibank played in the privatization of Kenyan Airways. It was domestic adviser to the Kenyan government and global coordinator of the whole issue, which was Kenya’s most successful ever.

Middle East

Best bank Citibank

Citibank's dominance of the forex market in
Bahrain is the key to its Middle Eastern operation, the most extensive of any bank's. The opening of Citibank Islamic bank, exclusively geared to Islamic investment and meeting Islamic investors' requirements, is typical of Citibank in the Middle East. Even in countries with no private foreign banking presence, such as Saudi Arabia, Citibank has a 30% stake in the Saudi American bank which is under a management contract by Citicorp. A Citibank representative office in Algeria is further evidence of exactly how far the Citibank tentacles reach in the area.

Once again, the key to the regional awards is the breadth and depth of a bank's regional coverage, and in this department, Citibank can't be touched.

Country awards

Europe

Austria

Best bank Bank Austria

In 1995 Bank
Austria's net income totalled Sch2.2 billion ($212.4 million) and net profits were Sch658 million ($63.4 million). Both figures are an improvement on 1994's performance. It is the largest of the Austrian banks by equity, and its hand has been strengthened further by a strategic alliance with WestLB, signed in April 1996. Germany's third largest bank, which now holds a 9.1% stake in Bank Austria, will ensure a much stronger position for Austria's premier bank in south-east Asia and the Pacific, where previously they had been weak.

Best securities firm Bank Austria

Bank
Austria maintains a tight grip on the Austrian equity market, continuing to arrange over 50% of primary equity issues. It is also significantly ahead of all rivals in co-lead manager roles in flotations, with the help of the group-affiliated GiroCredit clearing bank. Bank Austria came top in equity research and equity execution for Austria in Euromoney's European broker's poll last November.

Best foreign bank Deutsche Bank Austria

Deutsche Bank
Austria continues to lead the league table of foreign banks in trading Austrian schilling bond issues and is well enough thought of to be used by the Austrian government as an adviser on debt issues.

Belgium

Best bankGenerale Bank

The biggest bank in
Belgium has pursued business aggressively this year, leading some analysts to suggest that its competitors are continuing to lose market share to it. Generale Bank comfortably won this May's Euromoney government bond traders poll but the recent recruitment of additional equity-related staff suggests the bank believes equities will become increasingly important this year.

Best securities firm Petercam

Petercam has an unrivalled knowledge of Belgian institutions and instruments. It headed the table for equity research, equity execution and economic research for
Belgium in the Euromoney European brokers poll last November. The firm has consistently handled the largest volume of business on the Brussels stock exchange and is developing its bond-trading operation. The firm’s management is now planning an evolution to bank status.

Best foreign bank JP Morgan

JP Morgan has had a presence in
Belgium for 76 years. Including the Euroclear operation which JPM invented and now runs under contract, it has over 1,000employees there. It is a primary Belgian government bond dealer and further bolstered its fine reputation for M&A by successfully advising TeleDanmark during the $2.5 billion Belgacom flotation.

Bulgaria

Best bank Bulbank

Stoyan Alexandrov, president of Central Cooperative Bank and former finance minister, told Euromoney's Central European magazine this year: "Of the 44 banks in
Bulgaria, I would trust only six." Five of those are western. Bulbank (Foreign Trade Bank) is the one Bulgarian bank of any international standing. In 1995 it continued to pursue a cautious but successful expansion and a restricted investment policy, with end of year profits of Lev3.1 billion ($45.5 million). Bulbank has representative offices in London, Frankfurt and Vienna, and owns 97% of Litex Bank in Lebanon, which it is soon to sell.

Best foreign bank Raiffeisen Bank
Bulgaria

Austrian Raiffeissen Zentralbank's operation in
Bulgaria is the main channel for all foreign - not just from Austrian - investment. Raiffeisen also continues to increase its share of the Bulgarian domestic market, as it has done each year since 1989 when it became the first western-based bank to open there.


CzechRepublic

Best bank Komercni Banka

Komercni is well funded and has a strong branch network. In a sector heavily affected by bad debt, it has been able to keep its bad-loan provision low. It has total reserves of Kr28.5 billion ($1.06 billion) and is considered aggressive: "It's the only domestic bank that I lose business to,” says one
US banker.

Best securities firm Atlantik Finanhi

When market participants were asked by Euromoney to name the Czech broker that provided the best service, Brno-based Atlantik was mentioned most often. There is not much competition in terms of efficiency and reliability from other domestic brokers but Atlantik is bigger than foreign brokers as well, with a turnover of Kr28 billion ($1.04 billion) in 1995.

Best foreign bank Citibank

Citibank's most notable achievement over the last year was the placement of commercial paper for Coca-Cola, the first multi-national to borrow in the Czech market. Citibank came top in the Euromoney foreign exchange poll for Czech koruna trading, in May.

Denmark

Best bank Den Danske Bank

Den Danske has emerged from its restructuring even stronger than before, boasting profits for 1995 of $654 million, nearly double those of its nearest competitor. Its return on average equity was 17.5%, again the best figure for any of the top seven banks. In April the bank was global coordinator for the largest Danish privatization of 1996 - that of
CopenhagenAirport, worth Dkr1.0885 billion ($188 million).

Best securities firm Den Danske Bank

Den Danske was not as dominant in this year's Euromoney bond-trading poll (published in May) as it was in last year's, but still remains on top. Den Danske topped the five-year Copenhagen Stock Exchange share issue league table, and, in June, brought Tryg Baltica, the largest Danish insurance company, to the market. The company was valued at Dkr1.2 billion ($207 million).

Finland

Best bank Merita

Merita, the product of a merger between Union Bank of
Finland (last year's winner) and Kansallis-Osake-Pankki, is Finland's largest bank and the third largest in Scandinavia. In size and product range, Merita is vastly superior to its competitors, and well placed to consolidate its position in an over branched and overstaffed industry. In 1995, four of the largest six banks lost money but Merita managed a $14 million profit.

Best securities firm Alfred Berg

Alfred Berg is the leading Nordic securities house and has an unmatched reputation for research and service. It dominates the region's securities market and was placed top in last November's Euromoney European brokers' poll, for equity research, execution and economic research in
Finland.

Best foreign bank Citibank

The Finnish Guarantee Board gave Citibank the award for the "most pro-active bank", and Finnish bankers consider it well ahead of other foreign banks in the country. Since our last awards, Citi has won 90% of global custody business from Finnish corporates and has been the lead arranger on 75% of Finnish domestic bond issues. Of the Finnish equities traded in the
US, 95% are traded by Citi.

France

Best bank Société Générale

Société Générale has baseline operational profits that beat the other large French banks on all ratios. In 1995 it posted net income of Ffr3.82 billion ($748 million) and a return of average equity of 7.94%. A cautious strategy and a good control of costs paid off during the property slump, because SocGen was not hit as hard as its competitors.

Best securities firm Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations

CDC participated as co-lead manager in the privatization of French tobacco company Sieta, and manufacturers Uniscor Sacilor and Pechiney, placing a combined total of Ffr2.24 billion ($458 million) since July 1995. It was also lead underwriter for the Ffr880 million Club Med share issue. For the second year running, CDC came out well ahead in the French section of May’s Euromoney government bond traders' poll.

Best foreign bank JP Morgan

JP Morgan was voted top foreign bank in the French Eurobond market and also top foreign bank in the French government bond market in May's Euromoney bond traders' poll. The opinions of JP Morgan's peers are bolstered by the bank’s appearance at the top of the bookrunner league table, having run the books on over 5% of the issues since June 1995.

Germany

Best bank Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is implementing a cost-reduction strategy. It is
Germany’s largest bank by asset base and after the unfortunate episode of absconding property tycoon Jürgen Schneider, it bounced back with a return on average equity of 9.1% in 1995 - by far the highest of any of the top 10 German banks. At Dm1.524 billion ($1 billion), its 1995 profits were more than twice those of its nearest rival.

Best securities firm Deutsche Morgan Grenfell

In May's Euromoney bond traders' poll, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell scored more than twice as many votes as its nearest rival for Deutschmark Eurobond trading and nearly three times the number of votes for German government bond trading. In last November's Euromoney European brokers' poll, it was voted first for equity research, equity execution and economic research.

Best foreign bank Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley was the leading non-German bookrunner in the Deutschmark market in 1995, with issues including Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz, KfW and a World Bank issue for Dm3 billion, widely regarded as the Deutschmark deal of the year. Morgan Stanley also trades more German equities than any other foreign house and advised on M&A transactions worth more than $16 billion over the past year.


Greece

Best bank Alpha Credit Bank

Alpha Credit Bank is the largest private commercial bank in
Greece, with175 branches and around 10% of retail deposits. Although its assets are much smaller than those of some of the state banks that dominate the sector, it has a better cost structure and so