Banco Popular Espanol SA retained its tops-in-profitability ranking among the world's large banks, according to a survey by the London-based credit rating agency IBCA Ltd.

In a release carried by Reuters, IBCA said the Spanish bank came out on top for the third year in succession among the world's 300 largest banks ranked in terms of assets.

The report said "real profitability" was arrived at after reported results were adjusted for accounting distortions and inflation, and a common-equity-to-assets ratio of 4% and a taxation rate of 50% were applied to each bank.

The report added that banks in the United States, Thailand, Spain, Mexico, Hong Kong, and China had recently had very good years, while Nordic country banks ranked among the 20 least profitable.

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