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Iceland

Best bank
Íslandsbanki Best debt house
Barclays Capital

Best equities house
Kaupthing Bunadarbanki

Best M&A house
Kaupthing Bunadarbanki

Last year, Icelandic banks Kaupthing and Bunadarbanki merged to create the country?s largest bank. It has pursued an aggressive expansion policy, while managing to keep costs down. Kaupthing also managed to increase its year-on-year profit by 40% to reach IKr7.9 billion ($109 million). Landsbanki also managed to increase its net profit by 46% to reach IKr2.96 billion at the end of 2003.

However, Íslandsbanki wins best bank again, having managed to increase profits by 71% to Ikr5.8 billion. It also has the lowest cost/income ratio of the three banks.

The bank has the highest return on equity and is the top rated of the three by Moody?s. Íslandsbanki decreased its non-performing loans from Ikr5.3 billion in 2002 to Ikr4.8 billion in 2003. Landsbanki also decreased its NPLs while Kaupthing?s rose. Íslandsbanki has 19% market share of total lending and 21% of total deposits. The bank has a 32% market share in lending to corporates and 42% of leasing.

There was an increase in primary bond market activity and BarCap wins best debt house for having the largest primary bond market share, including some impressive deals.

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