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Australia I China I Hong Kong I India I Indonesia I Japan I Malaysia I Mongolia I Pakistan I Philippines I Singapore I Taiwan I Thailand

BEST BANK: Bank of Communications
BEST M&A HOUSE: Morgan Stanley

Of the large state-owned banks in mainland China, Shanghai-based Bank of Communications (Bocom) is comfortably the best managed. China’s fifth-largest bank by assets at $176.4 billion, Bocom is also one of the top 100 largest banks globally and was the first state bank to list internationally.

A glance at Bocom’s financial performance explains why it got to market first. With a net interest margin of 2.91%, a cost-income ratio of 51.24% and a return on average assets of 0.72%, the second highest of any bank in China, Bocom provided its shareholders with a return on average equity for the 2005 financial year of 13.52%, a highly creditable result when compared with its direct competitors. Bocom also enjoys a strong balance sheet, with a capital adequacy ratio of 11.29% and non-performing loans of about 3%.

Despite its 55,000 employees and 2,600 outlets, Bocom is surprisingly nimble-footed and its business development is well ahead of the competition.

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