Goldman stays top of deal table

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The Independent Online

Fresh from unveiling some of the biggest bonus payments in history, Goldman Sachs has underlined its power by retaining its number one slot as the world's biggest adviser on deals.

Thomson Financial will today publish its hotly anticipated league tables, which show Goldman as the world's top deal adviser, with more than $1 trillion (£508bn) of transactions credited in 2006.

Citigroup, however, is the biggest improver, leaping into second place from fifth the previous year. And while Goldman dominated in the US and overall worldwide figures, in Europe it was knocked off top spot by arch-rival Morgan Stanley. Citigroup was in second place, pushing Goldman down to third. However, few tears will be shed by the bank because it topped the table in fees for Europe, the US and worldwide, earning an estimated $2.1bn against the previous year's $1.7bn.

Thomson's research also highlights the disparity between bids for UK companies and by UK companies. While British companies spent $109bn on overseas deals, foreign buyers spent $191bn on UK companies.

The figures come at a time of mounting concern over the takeover of UK companies by overseas bidders. Even the CBI has complained that while the UK is arguably the most open nation in the world to overseas bids, its willingness to give foreign bidders access to its markets is not reciprocated.

Thomson also found that global M&A volumes reached an all-time high of $3.6 trillion, up 30 per cent.

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