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Best sovereign borrower:

The Republic of Italy has won our global sovereign borrower of the year award before. In the past 12 months, though, it has surpassed its own impressive performance in previous years. There is no sovereign that comes close to it in either volume of issuance or market innovation.

Apart from the US, it is the biggest sovereign issuer in dollars and became the one and only sovereign to do a 30-year maturity dollar deal. "In the US, it stands side by side with agencies and supranationals," says Cesare Roselli, vice-president at Morgan Stanley. "No other sovereign comes close to it in dollars. In the past year, Italy has broken through the agency pricing reference and is now priced below US agencies. Its constant presence in the market and the liquidity it provides has enabled it to do that."

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