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BEST BANK: UniCredit
BEST DEBT HOUSE: Lehman Brothers
BEST M&A HOUSE: Lehman Brothers

Last year was a landmark for Italian banking. Foreign banks, led by ABN Amro, succeeded in making inroads into the country after much opposition, while local champion UniCredit overcame obstacles to secure Germany’s HVB and create an Eastern European banking champion in a rare example of an Italian takeover of a German company. The deal is the largest European cross-border financial institution M&A deal to date.

Although some of Italy’s smaller banks have arguably been the best performers in the domestic market of late, among the bigger players UniCredit’s dynamism outshines rivals such as Sanpaolo IMI. In investment banking UniCredit tops the league tables for bond issuance and is the second-highest ranked Italian bank in equity capital markets after Mediobanca, which takes the award for best equity house in Italy.

Mediobanca has arguably the best secondary market franchise in the country and tops the league tables in all categories.

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