Salomon Smith Barney has been named the number one bookrunner for Asia-Pacific equity deals, excluding Japan, for the past three cumulative quarters, with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter topping the table for the whole region. According to a Thomson Financial Securities Data report, Salomon - a subsidiary of Citigroup - underwrote 18 deals valued at more than US$2.86 billion in the first nine months of this year. Morgan Stanley was listed as being involved in 11, valued at more than $3.45 billion. 'To my knowledge, this is the first time that we have placed this well on a consistent basis on the Asia-Pacific table,' a Salomon spokesman said. 'I think a lot of it is to do with our relationship with Citibank [under Citigroup's umbrella] . . . we're able to do things we couldn't do before.' According to Morgan Stanley, its performance for the nine months is based on the improving economics in the region and the consolidation process among regional brokerages. Morgan Stanley co-head of equity capital markets Brad Hu expected a strong finish for the year. 'We have some deals that are not announced yet that can put us at the top. It will be neck and neck with Salomon,' he said.