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Citibank and HSBC battle it out to be the best pan-Asian bank.Morgan Stanley Dean Witter succeeds in M&A and HDFC Bank had a great year in India. Kathryn Hanes


Best domestic bank: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Best foreign bank: HSBC

Best foreign bond house: Merrill Lynch

Best domestic equity house: CICC

Best foreign equity house: CLSA

Best domestic M&A house: Bank of China

Best foreign M&A house: Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

HSBC has been touting 2000 as its year for "going home" to China. In April it opened its mainland headquarters in Shanghai, relocating the management of the bank's mainland business out of Hong Kong, addressing a long-standing criticism of the bank's China business. Today, HSBC has nine branches in China, employing about 800 staff. And its renminbi business is starting to grow, thanks to securing a Rnb3 billion ($360 million) line of credit from the Bank of China on which it can draw to make loans to yuan customers (given the restrictions on foreign banks in terms of number of branches and customer base, HSBC had been unable to fund its loan book from deposits). It has also signed an agreement with ICBC that will allow customers to use ATM cards issued in Hong Kong to withdraw yuan and check account balances.

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