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Israel

Best bank
Bank Hapoalim Best debt house
Lehman Brothers

Best equities house
Lehman Brothers

Best M&A house
Lehman Brothers

In terms of size and in terms of the depth and breadth of their businesses there is little to separate Israel?s two leading banks, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi. Bank Hapoalim has however managed to capitalize on improving Israeli economic conditions over the past year better than its arch-rival and so wins the award for best bank in Israel again this year.

Hapoalim has improved its net profit at a much faster rate than Leumi, although Leumi too has some impressive numbers. Hapoalim, however, is the more efficient and profitable bank by most of the usual measures.

Lehman Brothers scooped the awards for best debt, equity, and M&A house in Israel this year. The US investment bank?s long-standing relationships with some of Israel?s leading corporates really paid off this year, as these clients came to the market with the highest-profile deals in debt, equity and M&A, and Lehman Brothers topped the league tables in all three.

On the debt side, Lehman acted as bookrunner for three Israeli sovereign transactions, including two deals for $750 million and $1 billion, guaranteed by USAID, for which it was the sole bookrunner.

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