Societe Generale Topples BNP Paribas in Credit Poll

Societe Generale's (GLE) credit research team overtook BNP Paribas SA's (BNP) to win the top ranking for overall investment-grade bond research in Euromoney magazine's annual survey of European investors.

Paris-based Societe Generale's investment-grade team, run by Benoit Hubaud and Denis Groven, jumped from fifth place last year, the poll showed. BNP Paribas slipped to third place.

``I think we had the correct positioning on global credit last year,'' Hubaud said in a telephone interview from Paris. ``We were still positive when everyone was saying the market had fallen out of bed.''

Societe Generale's investment-grade credit strategy team, headed by Suki Mann, took the top spot. Mann's team, including Guy Stear and Juan Valencia ranked second last year and unseated Citigroup Inc. (C)'s credit strategy group led by Matt King.

Societe Generale, France's second-largest bank by market value, also ranked No. 1 for research on general industries, telephone and media companies, and bonds issued by consumer products and retailers.

Dresdner Bank AG was top of research on carmakers, while BNP Paribas's teams were rated best for research on banks and utilities, the poll said. UBS AG (UBSN) was voted no. 1 for its research on insurance company bonds.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) won the top spot for research on high- yield bonds, up from third last year. The bank's high-yield strategy team was also ranked no. 1.

JPMorgan's credit derivatives strategy team won that category for a third consecutive year. Merrill Lynch & Co. won top asset-backed research group, rising from fourth last year. Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), last year's leader in the asset-backed securities research category, dropped to second.

The poll is based on rankings provided by fund managers, weighted by the amount of assets they oversee, according to Euromoney's Web site. A higher ranking can boost a research team's pay and analysts lobby investors in the weeks prior to the poll.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cecile Gutscher in London at cgutscher@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin in London at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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