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Awards for excellence - Philippines

Best bank:

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Best equity house:

ING Barings

Best debt house:

Citigroup / Salomon Smith Barney

Best M&A house:

ING Barings

It's no surprise that the confidence of investors has taken a severe knock when it comes to the Philippines. GDP growth estimates have been slashed from over 4% to around 3%. There is some way to go before confidence returns. But political stability is on the way.

Arroyo: one problem down,
several more to go.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is apparently in full control and willing to wield her handbag if anyone gets in her way. And the Central Bank of the Philippines is looking to get tough on money laundering. However, first there are the small cases of former president Joseph Estrada's trial for plunder, which continues to cause jitters, and Abu Sayyaf's habit of kidnapping unfortunate tourists and locals who dare to venture into his realm.

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