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Awards for excellence - Ecuador

Best bank:

Banco del Pichincha

Best debt house:

Citigroup/Salomon Smith Barney

Banco del Pichincha is the largest privately- owned bank in Ecuador, with 213 offices in 77 cities. As of March 2001, the bank had $1.2 billion in assets, $936 million in deposits, and equity of $97 million.

In 2000, the financial group led by the bank reported $141 million in revenues, and $13.7 million in net income.

It has been a rocky road back from the devastation wrought on the Ecuadorean banking system in 1999, and there's still a long way to go. But Pichincha, as one of the few large banks that survived, is at the forefront of the effort. It recently bought a loan portfolio from Banco Popular, and it achieved a 15% return on equity in 2000.

Citigroup/Salomon Smith Barney wins the award for best debt house after structuring the country's bond exchange and also putting together a $50 million oil pre-export facility for Petroecuador.

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