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

BEST BANK : Danske Bank
BEST DEBT HOUSE : Nordea Markets
BEST EQUITY HOUSE : Nordea Markets
BEST M&A HOUSE : Goldman Sachs

The choice of Danske Bank as best bank in Denmark in 2005 is relatively straightforward. In 2005, Denmark’s largest bank posted the best results in its history, with net profits rising from Dkr 9.3 billion to Dkr12.82 billion ($2.16 billion), earnings per share expanding by 42% and the cost-income ratio falling marginally from 52.7% to 52.2%. Granted, Danske’s earnings in 2005 were bolstered by a one-off gain of Dkr1.6 billion in 2005, but the impressive performance continue in the first quarter of 2006 when the bank reported better than expected profits.

Perhaps more important than Danske’s results in 2005 was the bank’s re-emphasis on its core retail banking franchise. As well as acquiring Northern Bank and National Irish Bank and expanding its presence in the Norwegian and Swedish mortgage markets, Danske closed down its New York office and scaled back its activities in London. The net result is that while the explosive growth of 2005 is unlikely to be repeated in the near term, a platform has been created for much more solid growth.

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