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BANKING

Latvia

Denmark I Estonia I Finland I Iceland I Latvia I Lithuania I Norway I Sweden

BEST BANK & BEST INVESTMENT BANK: Hansabank
BEST DEBT HOUSE : Parex bank
BEST EQUITY HOUSE: Suprema Securities
BEST M&A HOUSE: SEB Vilfima


Hansabank makes no secret of its ambitions of being the leading retail bank throughout the Baltic region, and the progress it has made in the past 12 to 18 months suggests that it is well on course in Latvia. Hansabank owes its award for best bank in Latvia to the explosive growth in its core business in the market in 2005. The bank’s Latvian loan portfolio increased by 79% to €2.44 billion, with its mortgage book expanding by 109% and its corporate loan business growing by 69%. And although margins came under pressure, Hansabank reports that the average yield of its Latvian loan portfolio is its highest in the Baltic region. The net result was that while expenses inevitably rose last year (by 21%), Hansabank’s cost-income ratio remained stable and its net profits rose by 21% to €57.5 million.

As in Estonia, the award for best debt house in Latvia turns on a single deal, Parex’s €100 million three-year high-yield bond led in May 2005 by Credit Suisse and JPMorgan.

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