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Czech Republic

Best bank
Ceska Sporitelna Best debt house
Deutsche Bank

Best equities house
Patria Finance

Best M&A house

Best local partner
Wood & Co

Both the market leaders in the Czech Republic, CSOB and Ceska Sporitelna, have enjoyed a strong performance over the past 12 months. CSOB had a return on equity of 31% in 2003, it forged a leading position for itself in the growing leasing market, and its brokerage division, Patria, grew market share in equities ? for which it won our best equities house award.

Ceska Sporitelna, however, has had the better year. Its net profit grew by 31% in 2003, to Kc7.6 billion ($290 million), which is an all-time high for the bank. Although its return on equity was lower in 2003 than in 2002 ? at 23.7% ? it grew to 31.4% in the first quarter of this year. Its return on assets in the same period was 1.9%, the highest it has been for three years.

The bank has achieved rapid growth while improving its risk profile.

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