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India

BEST BANK
ICICI Bank

BEST EQUITY HOUSE
Kotak Investment Banking

BEST DEBT HOUSE
Citigroup

BEST M&A HOUSE
DSP Merrill Lynch

ICICI is India's largest privately owned bank and once again wins the best bank award. As Indian economic growth gathers pace, ICICI is reaping the benefits, especially given its heavy retail focus. Of the bank's total loan portfolio, more than 60% is accounted for by retail credit, one reason why the bank commands a market share of 33% of retail consumer finance and 25% of credit card finance. ICICI increased its customer base by 31% last year to 13.7 million accounts and has more than 8 million e-banking clients.

ICICI's dominance of India's retail banking market is one reason for its impressive financial results. In the year ended March 31 2005, total assets grew 34% to $38.4 billion, net income was up 22% at $460 million and return on equity was a solid 17.9%. ICICI's cost-to-income ratio is just 42%, another indication of how well the bank is run given India's propensity to administrative and frictional costs. Capital adequacy is a healthy 11.8%.

Although ICICI is retail heavy, it is also strong in treasury and corporate banking, with market leadership in foreign exchange, derivatives, commercial paper and currency options.

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