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Luxembourg

BEST BANK
Banque Générale de Luxembourg

BEST EQUITY HOUSE
Deutsche Bank

Capital markets activity in Luxembourg is small compared with that in neighbouring countries. In debt, there was a sprinkling of issues by Luxembourg corporates but Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat Luxembourg continues to swamp the bond market, with regular issues in a range of currencies.

Despite lower net profits in 2004, Banque Générale du Luxembourg (BGL), which is owned by Fortis, is still a dominant player in domestic banking. On the retail side, it has continued to expand its operations, with more attractive savings plans for children, a new product range for young adult customers and a package combining mortgage loans with life and non-life insurance products. Loans and advances to customers were up by 2.2% in 2004.

The bank has been making the most of the Fortis Group's pan-European drive to boost cross-border expansion of businesses from Luxembourg and other areas, including France and Germany. Fortis has also picked Luxembourg as the centre of its burgeoning leasing activities and can so far boast a 6% rise in lease financing.

BGL continues to work hard to build its corporate and institutional client base, focusing in particular on the German-speaking areas.

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