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The major concern remains consolidation. Deutsche Bank advances across the continent. Citigroup marches on. Goldman Sachs pips Morgan Stanley in M&A. Peter Lee

AUSTRIA Best bank: Bank Austria

Best foreign bank: Deutsche Bank

Best domestic equities firm: CA IB Investmentbank

Best foreign equities firm: Deutsche Bank

Best domestic bond house: CA IB Investmentbank

Best foreign bond house: CSFB

Best domestic M&A adviser: CA IB Investmentbank

Best foreign M&A adviser: Merrill Lynch

When Bank Austria acquired its strongest domestic rival, Creditanstalt, in 1998 it created by some distance the largest and most powerful bank in Austria. The bank has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past decade from being a small municipal savings bank to a significant international bank headquartered in Austria, with a powerful network across central and eastern Europe. At the end of last year its total assets stood at e136 billion, compared with e56 billion for its nearest domestic competitor, Erste Bank.

With a share of the domestic corporate banking market that analysts put at around 25%, the bank is the country's clear leader in wholesale and retail banking. By contrast, its largest domestic rival, Erste Bank, counts its main strengths in retail banking as well as in serving the wholesale needs of the country's savings banks through GiroCredit, with which it has merged.

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