Asian comeback
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Asian comeback

Big rises for Asian banks reflect not only their gradual recovery from crisis but the scale of the hammering they took a few years back. Many are still regarded by analysts as weak though in the longer run their position could be stronger than those banks which have not yet been forced to reform. This year’s top 250 emerging market banks, prepared by Moody’s Investor Services, shows the considerable changes that are taking place in the sector. Keri Geiger reports

Author: Keri Geiger

Considering the size of China’s economy, it is no surprise that Chinese banks lead the pack in this year's emerging market banks poll, compiled by Moody’s. With similar rankings last year, the top four Banks were Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank.

Elsewhere in Asia, the effects of the 1997 Asian crisis are still being felt, but South Korea is showing signs of a slow recovery. Seoul Bank is the top mover this year moving 153 spots from 234 to 81.

Brian Oak, vice president and Asian bank analyst for Moody’s, notes that the Asian crisis hit South Korea hard and their recovery is due mainly to billions of government capital injected into the banks. “The banks were so financially distressed that while the rise in the poll does indicate some improvement, it does not reflect a return of full economic health.”

Seoul Bank was one of the largest benefactors of government capital, receiving almost 5 trillion Won ($4.5 billion) and it is still struggling. Deutsche Bank was also called in as a management advisor and has brought in its own muscle to turn the bank around.

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