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Awards for excellence - India

Best bank:


Best equity house:

DSP Merrill Lynch

Best debt house:


Best M&A house:

DSP Merrill Lynch

In India the public-sector banks are going head to head with the private banks. And they are being soundly beaten. Emerging over the past five years, private banks such as HDFC Bank have proved themselves lighter on their feet and more in tune with what customers need.

Gone are the days when the well-established - some would say staid - public banks could sit around earning easy money from regulated lending rates that assured them of cushy margins. And as the more sophisticated financial players migrate to the capital markets for funding, instead of turning to the banks and their traditional loan products, the threat of total disintermediation for India's public-sector banks looms. There seems confusion as to whether they will survive.

Following its merger with Times Bank in February 2000, HDFC Bank is leading by example. It was a merger that added value immediately. Over the past year the customer base has increased and its network has expanded from 111 branches to 131, covering 53 cities, up from 34.

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