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Awards for excellence - Tunisia

Best bank

Banque de Tunisie

Best debt house

Merrill Lynch

Banque de Tunisie stands out as the leading bank in Tunisia. It is the most profitable, has good asset quality and boasts a return on equity of 20%.

The country's fourth-largest privately owned bank and seventh largest overall by total assets, Banque de Tunisie has a reputation for being a conservative lender but records the sector's best return on average assets.

Set against that it is now facing increasing competition from foreign banks for market share in its primary market, the corporate sector.

However Banque de Tunisie is not looking to increase market share for its own sake. Rather its key objective is profitability. It aims to grow at between 8% and 10% a year and remain an efficient middle-sized bank.

As part of this plan it has worked hard on developing its IT capability and in 2000 established an intranet system linking all its branches. The system also gives corporate clients computer access to account information.

Tunisia has eight state-owned development banks and 13 commercial banks, seven of which are state-owned.

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