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The world's most improved debt house

Awards for Excellence 2002

BNP Paribas

The award for most improved debt house had plenty of contenders this year, but BNP Paribas tipped the balance across the board. This is thanks to its strong showing in the corporate credit market in Europe (where it ranks third behind Deutsche Bank and Citicorp/Salomon Smith Barney), its growing strength in structured credit and credit derivatives, and the increasingly attractive synergies emerging from the merger of BNP and Paribas.

"BNP Paribas is now a much more powerful player than people thought it might have been," says David Ovenden, the firm's global head of credit. "We are firing on more and more cylinders, but we still have less developed franchises to work on."

Like all the European houses, BNP Paribas faces an uphill struggle in the US debt market. Only Deutsche and UBS have made any real headway against the US bulge-bracket firms in the past year.

For the European firms, the key priority in the past two years has been to secure competitive advantage on their own turf - especially in the fast-developing European corporate credit market.

This year's evidence suggests that they are succeeding.

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