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Best bank
Kasikorn Bank Best equities house
Phatra Securities

Best debt house
Deutsche Bank

The change of name from Thai Farmer?s Bank to Kasikorn, or K-bank, was more than just a neat rebranding. The change also meant a shift in attitude and management style. The bank has cleaned itself up after the Asian financial crisis and is now growing fast.

Kasikorn is the third-largest bank in Thailand by assets, loans and deposits. Its roots as an agricultural bank mean that its 496 branch network spans all of Thailand?s 76 provinces. The bank also boasts more than 1,100 ATMs. As a major retail bank, Kasikorn has benefited enormously from the revival of the Thai economy.

Although there is still much progress to be made in the bank, it is already reaping the rewards of its restructuring and the benign economic environment. NPLs, though substantial, have shrunk already. The bank earns a solid net interest margin of about 2.5% and its return on equity is one of the highest in Thailand.

In December 2003, the management of Phatra Securities led a management buyout of its joint venture with Merrill Lynch that had seen Merrill Lynch Phatra consistently lead the market in primary and secondary offerings.

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