BEST DEBT HOUSE
Slovakia has performed very well over the past 12 months, with GDP growing by 5.5%. Its economy has almost caught up with those of its central European peers, and looks set to overtake them soon. The banking sector also grew rapidly, particularly in consumer loans and asset management. Slovenska Sporitelna capitalized most in these sectors.
Its consumer loan portfolio grew from Sk2.3 billion in 2002 to Sk7.3 billion ($232 million) by the end of 2004. Its asset management subsidiary also dominates the growing mutual funds sector. Thanks to these performances, Slovenska Sporitelna brought in a net profit of Sk3.2 billion, 19% up on the previous year. Analysts also applaud Tatra Bank, Raiffeisen International's subsidiary, however. Its total assets are growing by over 20% annually, and it dominates the profitable credit card sector.
Citigroup deservedly wins the best debt house award. It leads the loan and corporate bond market, having done key deals such as a €200 million eurobond and €500 million loan for Slovenske Elektarne, and a €138 million loan for EuroTel Bratislava.