Best Bank: Kaupthing
The Icelandic banking market is one of the most dynamic in the world and has also shown itself to be among the most resilient. Following some tough times in early 2006 when international investors got jittery about Iceland’s economy, the international expansion strategies of the main banks – Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki – have proved to be far-sighted. Kaupthing is undeniably the most aggressive of the big three: it appears to have an ability to spot opportunities, make acquisitions and integrate better than any other bank its size in Europe, if not the world. That success is reflected in a growth in assets in the year to the end of March 2007 of a phenomenal 59.61%. Yet the bank still achieved the best return on equity of any bank in the country: 32.95%. The Icelandic public debt market is necessarily a bank-driven market and competition for mandates from Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki is intense.