Fixed-income research poll results, day 1

Today we announce which banks top FinanceAsia's list of the best fixed-income research houses, according to a poll of more than 600 investors.

Each year we check in with the investor community to measure their views on Asian fixed income. This year we polled  623 investors from around the world -- though mostly in Asia -- about their views of fixed income and which banks provide the best research on the topic.

Given the turmoil that many banks have undergone, particularly in the first quarter of this year, it is not surprising that the rankings have changed dramatically. Many of the fixed-income teams have changed at banks, and when the trusted bankers that investors were used to dealing with moved on, investors looked around the field for new sources of information. 

As a result, we have a new overall winner this year -- Barclays Capital -- which jumped from fifth place in 2008. The former top bank, Citi, dropped to third place. And last year's number two bank, UBS, is now in fourth place. J.P. Morgan capitalised on the market dislocation and moved to second place from third. HSBC slipped to fifth place, from fourth, due to Barclays' leap to number one.

Banks that merged last year seem to have roughly averaged out their returns. For example, Bank of America Merrill Lynch came in at 13th place this year. Last year Merrill Lynch ranked 11th, while Bank of America took 19th place. Nomura, which scooped up Lehman Brothers' Asia team 12 months ago, jumped to ninth place from 17th last year, though Lehman Brothers did weigh in at eighth in last year's poll. And Royal Bank of Scotland took 13th place, falling from its 10th place last year, though ABN AMRO ranked 18th in 2008.

The overall winner, Barclays, swept four categories. They were voted best researchers of macroeconomics, high-yield/distressed credit, investment grade credit and the firm with the best fixed income and credit strategy. UBS won the bank and financial sector research category, while Citi took the sovereign credit research segment.

We also added a new category to reflect the essence of the banks' business -- the best sales and trading team house. J.P. Morgan stood out in this new category.

Finally, each year readers ask us who was polled. We ask investors from around the world, but primarily in Asia, for their views. Eighty-five percent of the 623 respondents were from Asia, including Australia and Japan. Hong Kong comprised 22.9% while Singapore made up 22.2% and Japan weighed in with 10.1% of the respondents. The UK and the US respectively gave us 7.2% and 6.5% of the responses. And there were some odd rogue voters out there, one each from Ireland, Jordan, Portugal and Switzerland. 

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