When we did the analysis of who had done what in telecom this year, we came up with an interesting league table. Goldman Sachs topped the chart by a massive margin. We equally apportioned credit for equity, debt and M&A deals, and using this methodology, Goldman's 14 deals represented $22 billion. Its strongest bulge bracket competitor was Merrill Lynch, which accrued $10.15 billion in seven deals. This underlines Goldman's dominance in the telecom field in Asia.

With 24 experienced telecom bankers across four Asian cities, and Institutional Investor's top-ranked telecom research team, this should come as no surprise.

It acted as the advisor on the China Mobile/Vodafone deal and the simultaneous purchase of seven mobile networks in China ? worth $34 billion. It did the follow-on $6.8 billion equity offering (with Merrill Lynch and CICC) for China Mobile, and the $690 million convertible bond.

It also advised Hutchison Whampoa on its joint venture with Global Crossing and raised $476 million for the JV in an IPO in October. It was also advisor to Hutchison in its acquisition of a stake in Sterling, the Indian mobile phone company. It also did the $5 billion block trade of Vodafone stock on behalf of Hutchison in March (with Deutsche). The message is clear: key telecom clients use Goldman Sachs again and again for their financing needs.

It missed out on PCCW/HKT, but that was only the result of its bringing SingTel to the table in the first place. Without Goldman having done that, Richard Li might be sitting on bubble stock today, rather than a premier telecom asset.

Perhaps most significant is the transaction still to come, the last great telecom privatization in Asia, Chunghwa Telecom. In one of the great mandate battles of the year, it emerged victorious. The Taiwanese Government, which is well aware of how political this deal is, chose Goldman for this difficult task. In Asian telecom financing, you will not go wrong in giving your mandate to Goldman.

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