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BEST BANK: Privedna Banka Zagreb
BEST M&A HOUSE: Merrill Lynch

As in previous years, it has been a close-run decision between Zagrebacka banka, UniCredit’s subsidiary, and Privedna Banka Zagreb, Intesa’s subsidiary for Euromoney’s best bank award. This year the award goes to Privedna for outstripping Zagrebacka in total asset growth (16.5% year on year compared with 10.3%), and a slightly better cost income ratio.

HVB/UniCredit has shown the greatest consistency across the debt markets and so takes the award. The bank has been second in bond league tables with a market share of 28%, having taken part in four of the six deals, and also second in the loan markets with a 18% market share. Again here it was a mandated arranger in four of the country’s six loans.

Merrill Lynch is awarded the best M&A house in Croatia award for advising on GlaxoSmithKline’s pending acquisition, agreed in February 2006, of Croatian pharmaceuticals company Pliva’s research company, Pliva-Istrazivacki Institut, for $50 million plus a $15 million earnout component.

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