Best Bank: Anglo Irish Bank
In 1997, Anglo Irish posted profits of just €30.7 million. Ten years later the Irish bank that started off by serving sectors of the retail market that others didn’t fancy, such as small businesses, doctors and lawyers, has posted first-half pre-tax profits of €574 million. Its growth story is not just one of the last 10 years though. Net lending is up €9.3 billion from the first half of 2006 and profits have risen 53% from a year ago. Earnings per share have risen 52% to 62.9 cents a share.
Anglo Irish’s share price is the sole star among its local peers, the only one in positive territory so far this year.
No bank has a firm grip across equity and debt capital markets and mergers and acquisitions advice in Ireland. Local broker Davy Stockbrokers tends to do more of the equity capital markets deals than any other house but the biggest deals tend to have the bulge-bracket heavyweights involved too.