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Korea's best corporate and investment bank 2017: Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse is consistently at or near the top of the tree in Korea’s fiercely competitive investment banking world. The Swiss firm reported more net income than any other foreign securities firm in 2016, according to data from the financial regulator.

It also topped the M&A tables in terms of deal volume in the year to the end of September 2017, thanks to a number of blockbuster transactions, most notably the sale in January 2017 of a 51% stake in LG Siltron, the world’s fifth-largest producer of silicon wafers, to SK Holdings, for $532 million. Credit Suisse was exclusive financial adviser to LG on that deal.

In the capital markets, it was one of three global coordinators and bookrunners on the $878 million IPO of Lotte Chemical Titan, a subsidiary of Korea-based Lotte Chemical, on the Bursa Malaysia.

That deal, which took place in July 2017, marked the largest chemicals stock sale by a corporate in Asia since 2010, and the most valuable listing in Malaysia in nearly five years. In April 2017, it was named sole bookrunner on the sale of a $171 million block of shares in internet company Kakao by video game developer Wemade Entertainment.

ChunKee Lee, chief executive for Korea at Credit Suisse, points to a “number of opportunities” set to open up in future as Korea’s main conglomerates, or chaebol, begin the long process of selling off non-core units and streamlining their business models.