Awards for excellence - Lithuania
Best debt house:
Best equity house:
Best M&A house:
Best bank in Lithuania goes to the country's largest player, Vilniaus Bankas, which has a 40% market share. Vilniaus has attracted customers at an impressive rate, with its retail and corporate customer bases growing by 122% and 48% respectively in 2000.
This boost in Vilniaus's market share was aided by the acquisition of Bankas Hermis, with full integration of the target bank's branch network and systems completed in July 2000. Vilniaus Bankas also increased its profits in 2000 by almost 11% from 1999 levels; no mean feat considering the generally poor economic condition of Lithuania.
By far the most important event of the past year for Vilniaus was Skandinavska Enskilda Banken's (SEB) acquisition of further shares to take its stake in the bank up to around 98%. SEB first took a stake in 1998, and its influence on the Latvian bank has grown steadily since. Vilniaus has begun full integration with its Swedish parent, bringing the benefits of sharing in SEB's know-how, large-institution support and, perhaps most important, technological innovation.