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

BEST BANK : SEB Merchant Banking
BEST M&A HOUSE: Morgan Stanley

“For once we are firing on all cylinders,” is how Magnus Carlsson, head of SEB Merchant Banking, describes SEB’s performance over the past 12 to 18 months. Although all leading Swedish banks have performed well during that period, SEB’s results have continued to support the bank’s impressive transformation in recent years. In 2005, SEB delivered a record operating profit of SKr11.2 billion ($1.52 billion), up from SKr10 billion in 2004. Earnings per share rose from SKr10.83 to SKr12.58, and return on equity from 14.7% to 15.8%.

Much of that performance was driven by the strength in equity markets, to which SEB is more sensitive than most of its peers, with operating profit at SEB Merchant Banking growing by 18% in 2005. However, Nordic retail and private banking increased operating profit by 11%, and in asset management – where Carlsson says SEB has moved from “laggard to leader” in recent years – the bank posted a 23% increase in operating profit last year.

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