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Awards for Excellence 2009: France

Best Bank: BNP Paribas
Best Investment Bank: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

BNP Paribas earned €3 billion for the whole of 2008 but its first-quarter 2009 results were particularly instructive. They were far better than expected. Revenues rose 28% on the same period a year earlier to €9.5 billion and were up 95% on the fourth quarter of 2008. The corporate and investment bank had a stellar first quarter, particularly in fixed income, but its retail banking performance was also strong and, with the prospect of additional firepower in the form of Fortis, suggests that this bank has come out of the crisis stronger.

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