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Awards for Excellence 2009: Norway

Best bank: DnB Nor Bank
Best Investment bank: Pareto Securities

DnB Nor is Norway’s leading financial services group, with more than 2.3 million retail customers and 200,000 corporate customers. It runs Norway’s largest internet banks, dnbnor.no and postbanken.no, with more than 1 million users. It is also Norway’s largest life and pension insurance company, with about 1 million customers, and Norway’s largest asset management operation, with more than 600,000 mutual fund customers in Norway.

Its dominant position in an oil-rich economy is a blessing that international equity investors have not always appreciated. Recent IMF forecasts suggest that the Norwegian economy might contract by 1.7% this year, compared with 4.2% for the eurozone, with Norwegian unemployment increasing to 3.7% compared with 10.1% in the eurozone.

The bank has had to take tough decisions.

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