Sterling investment grade

WINNER: NETWORK RAIL

Bookrunners: Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, HSBC, UBS

The inaugural issue for Network Rail, since becoming a direct sovereign obligation of the UK government, was voted by institutional investors as the leading corporate bond in the sterling high-grade category. The deal was the largest sterling unsecured non-financial transaction in 2005, and the change in guarantor resulted in a lowering of the issuer's risk weighting from 20% to zero.

"This was the first benchmark deal