For the purposes of this award we have included such sectors as oil and gas, power, pulp and paper, and steel. It is essentially an old economy award. It is awarded to Morgan Stanley Dean Witter because, while all other banks were throwing everything at technology and the new economy, Morgan Stanley kept a strong and clear focus on some of the old economy sectors. As a result of this, it thrived in Asia where some of the largest and most groundbreaking deals of the year were in the old economy sectors. The deals it has done have stood their own ground. And the companies the firm has worked for have benefited from the strategic advice they have received from Morgan Stanley.

The IPO of Sinopec was a huge deal for Morgan Stanley and for China. It represented the wholesale adoption of modern corporate principles by a former state monopoly in China. And Morgan Stanley was leading the process. The two stages of restructuring the company and then doing its IPO were hugely complex and yet very smoothly done. The combination of Morgan Stanley's deep sectoral insight entwined with its great financing skills was key to the success of the transaction.

In many ways, this deal for an old Chinese SOE embodied the future of investment banking in Asia: an embedded relationship based on a deep understanding of the business and the sector, which leads to strategic financial transactions.

This approach to client relationship was also seen in the work that Morgan Stanley did for Singapore Power International (SPI) this year. SPI's purchase of GPU PowerNet in Australia was an expertly handled deal, which combined strong cross-border understanding of the global power market, with adroit financing skills. The purchase was done through the issue of a credit-wrapped subordinated unsecured note, which financed the asset purchase and gave SPI the lowest possible cost of funds.

Morgan Stanley also issued the widely praised debt issue for APP China ? the China subsidiary of the region's leading pulp and paper producer. Many thought this deal could not get done, but Morgan Stanley's understanding of the company and its credit allowed the bonds to be sold within the indicative price range and at a 50% over subscription level.

While not the most glamorous of awards, the sectors that are covered are key sectors for Asia. Financing and restructuring companies in the Asian natural resources sector is a crucial task, and Morgan Stanley this year has shown that it is the bank to do the job.

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