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Iran

Best bank
Bank Tejarat Best debt house
BNP Paribas

Bank Tejarat is the fourth-largest bank in Iran by assets and specializes in trade finance and corporate business. It is not as large as Bank Melli, Iran?s largest bank by far, but it is a far leaner and more efficient bank whether judged by return on equity, return on assets, or on its cost to income ratio. The main banks in Iran are highly specialized. Bank Tejarat?s focus on trade and on business means that it is prominent in many of the biggest deals in the country. Bank Tejarat was the most active of Iran?s domestic banks in the key syndicated loan deals over the past year.

BNP Paribas wins the award for best debt house in Iran for its involvement in nearly half of all the project finance deals in the country. Deutsche Bank acted as mandated arranger on four of the biggest deals, the same number as BNP Paribas, but the French bank?s involvement in a further two shows the strength of its franchise in the country. In 2002, BNP Paribas was joint bookrunner with Commerzbank on the Islamic Republic?s debut Eurobond and although there is no award for best M&A house in Iran this year, the fact that BNP Paribas is the adviser to the government on its telecoms privatization programme again shows the depth of the bank?s relationship with the government, the biggest player in the economy.

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