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Awards for excellence - Taiwan

Best Bank:

Chinatrust Commercial Bank

Best Equities:

Goldman Sachs

Best Debt:

Citigroup / Salomon Smith Barney

Best M&A:

Goldman Sachs

Banking consolidation and asset quality, as in all Asian countries, is the talk of the town in Taiwan. In short, the country is overbanked and has been for some time. But it is only now that the necessary legislation and legal framework are being introduced. This will allow the stronger public banks to acquire the troubled private banks. The question is, however, once the legislation is in place, will the banks sort out the problems by themselves? And how long will it be before they stop blaming all their woes on the slowdown in the US economy?

The banks offer the same range of products, but it is two relatively small private banks that stand out: Chinatrust Commercial Bank (CTBC) and the 10-year old Bank Sinopac. Both are praised for their quality of service and attempts at innovation but it is CTBC that comes out ahead. It is the ninth-largest bank in Taiwan by assets, these having increased by 14% in the year to May 2001.

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