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Czech Republic

BEST BANK
Komercni Bank

BEST DEBT HOUSE
Citigroup

BEST EQUITY HOUSE
Merrill Lynch

BEST M&A HOUSE
Morgan Stanley

The big three Czech banks – CSOB, Ceska Sporitelna and Komercni Bank – all performed well last year, with an average return on equity of about 20%. Consumer loans and mortgages were the most profitable part of the market. Ceska Sporitelna was best placed to profit from this sector, thanks to its large network of retail customers.

However, Komercni brought in the highest annual returns in the sector, with $424 million in net profit, in part thanks to a highly successful advertising campaign.

Citigroup wins the best debt house award thanks to its dominant position in the loan market, in which it had a 60% market share by number of deals, and a 37% market share by volume.

Key deals included the Kc3.6 billion ($146 million) credit facility for rubber company GS Group and the Kc1.75 billion facility for the country's third-largest water company. Citigroup also arranged a Eurobond for Home Credit & Finance, a Czech consumer finance company that is expanding strongly into Russia.

Merrill Lynch wins the best equity house award for having arranged the Czech Republic's first IPO, the $75 million flotation of generic drugs manufacturer Zentiva.

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