Large banking companies eager to provide their customers with sophisticated corporate financings are starting to surface in the top ranks of private placement managers, but they still lag investment banks in leading such deals.

Credit Suisse First Boston topped a ranking of lead managers of private placements released this week by Thomson Financial Securities Data, with $23.4 billion worth of deals in the first half of the year. Merrill Lynch & Co. came second with $21.6 billion, followed by Citigroup's Salomon Smith Barney unit with $18.7 billion, and Chase Manhattan Corp., with $18.3 billion. The totals include debt and equity placements.

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