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Sweden

Best bank
Svenska Handelsbanken Best debt house
Citigroup

Best equities house
Carnegie Investment Bank

Best M&A house
Deutsche Bank

Svenska Handelsbanken wins best bank again this year for its top performance figures and its consistently high level of customer satisfaction. During 2003, the bank had one of the highest return on equity ratios (14.9%) and the lowest cost/income ratios (44%). ?Svenska Handelsbanken is a champion in terms of efficiency,? says Alexandra Sleator, analyst at Moody?s, which upgraded the bank to Aa1 in March for its operating efficiency, the high quality of its client base and its asset quality. This is the highest rating of any of the Swedish banks.

The bank?s operating profit for 2003 was SKr11.6 billion ($1.5 billion) and assets increased to SKr 1,316 billion at the end of March. The bank also retains its dominant market share in lending to corporates, with 32%.

It also has a leading retail market share in deposits, lending, mortgages and new sales of mutual funds.

It is difficult to choose between Citigroup and Barclays Capital for best debt house. Both are strong in sovereigns, BarCap stronger in financials and Citigroup stronger in corporates.

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