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Awards of Excellence

Asian regional awards

Best Bank: Resona Holdings
Best Equity House: Nomura Securities
Best Debt House: Deutsche Bank
Best M&A House: Merrill Lynch

When Moody’s upgraded its ratings on Japan’s three mega banks in May to Aa2, it looked for a moment as though their years of underwhelming share price performance might be coming to an end. After all, the Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui financial groups hadn’t had such high ratings since 1998. The reporting season that followed, however, was disappointing: net profits for all three were down as fees for sales of investment trusts failed to make up for the steady decline in corporate borrowing. Resona Holdings, the country’s fourth-largest banking group, bucked the trend. Net profits for the financial year were up an astonishing 74%, admittedly as much because of a change in taxation accounting methods as because of growth in its retail operations and fee-based income. The group offers the highest return on assets ratio of any big Japanese bank – just over 1.5% – and has worked hard to reform its image after catastrophic losses resulted in a government bailout in 2003.

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