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France

BEST BANK
BNP Paribas

BEST DEBT HOUSE
BNP Paribas

BEST EQUITY HOUSE
SG

BEST M&A HOUSE
Rothschild

Despite SG being close on its tail, BNP Paribas has retained the best bank award as a result of its breadth of services for French individuals and corporates. With increased focus on client segmentation, BNP's retail banking network continues to grow, with net income for the first quarter of 2005 up 8.6% on the same period in 2004 at €1.3 billion. In capital markets, BNP Paribas is one of the biggest players.

Joining forces with Exane in equity brokerage, the firm ranks first in the secondary market for institutional clients in French equities, and second only to SG in the league tables for equity deals. In M&A, BNP Paribas has been a key adviser in the largest French deals of the past 12 months, acting as adviser on Pernod Ricard's acquisition of Allied Domecq.

In debt markets, BNP Paribas has had an excellent 12 months, driven by its presence in the syndicated loan market, earning itself the best debt house award – although SG CIB's strengths in ABS and CDO markets deserve recognition.

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