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CEE's best bank for financing 2018: Société Générale

Awards for Excellence 2018

As global banks have pulled personnel back from CEE over the past decade, a divide has opened up between the big regional lenders and the bulge-bracket groups.

The former are mainly western European groups – the likes of Erste, Raiffeisen and Intesa Sanpaolo – with extensive commercial banking networks but limited international investment banking expertise. That tends to be provided by the big US banks, most of which now serve the region from London hubs.

Société Générale is one of the few banks that manages to bridge this gap. The French group is one of the main commercial banking players in CEE, with a network comprising the second-biggest foreign bank in Russia, the number-three lenders in Romania and the Czech Republic, an outpost in Poland and a clutch of subsidiaries in smaller markets in southeastern Europe.

At the same time, it boasts a sophisticated advisory business backed by enhanced acquisition and structured finance capabilities, as well as a strong capital markets franchise with good global distribution.

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