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

BEST BANK : Hansabank
BEST EQUITY HOUSE : Suprema Securities

Hansabank officially became a wholly owned subsidiary of Swedbank at the start of July 2005, and the Swedish bank has good reason to celebrate the inclusion in its portfolio of a leading player not just in Estonia but across the Baltic region. In spite of a significant decrease in lending margins brought about by increased competition in 2005, Hansabank’s cost-income ratio remained broadly unchanged while the dip in its return on equity has been marginal. Heightened competition in the Estonian market has left Hansabank’s commanding market shares stable, with mortgage, corporate and retail lending expanding by 82%, 50% and 63%, respectively, in 2005.

It is perhaps hazardous to make an award for best debt house based on a single transaction. Nevertheless, Citigroup made an important contribution to the development of an embryonic corporate bond market in 2005 when it led a debut international issue for Eesti Energia in November. That well-distributed €300 million 15-year exchange offer was the longest corporate transaction ever from a borrower categorized as coming from the central and eastern European region.

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