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Austria

Best bank
Bank Austria Creditanstalt Best debt house
Deutsche Bank

Best equities house
JPMorgan

Best M&A house

JPMorgan

Bank Austria Creditanstalt made a clever move in 2003. The bank holds e13 billion of assets in central and eastern Europe and made the region a key part of its growth strategy. Its positive view of those countries was mirrored by investors in advance of new members joining the EU this year. So when the bank launched its e958 million IPO, it was nicely timed.

That IPO was the highlight for the bank in 2003, as well as being the biggest bank IPO globally since July 2002. Other key measures also stand out. The bank?s net income rose by 43% on the previous year, to a record e442 million, and the cash return on equity rose by nearly one-fifth to 12.4%. Losses on loans and advances are persistent but shrinking.

The bank holds 18% of the retail market and has even stronger links with corporates ? it has business relationships with 81% of the country?s largest firms. Local corporates generate the largest slice of its net income, at e235 million.

Partly in recognition of its joint bookrunner role in the Bank Austria Creditanstalt IPO, this year?s best equity house is JPMorgan.

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