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In this paper, we address the problem of the coordinated beamforming design for multi-cell multiple input single output (MISO) downlink system subject to per-BS power constraints. The objective is taken as the maximization of the minimum signal-to-interference plus noise ratio (SINR), while a complete analysis of the duality between the multi-cell downlink and the virtual uplink optimization problems is provided. A hierarchical iterative scheme is proposed to solve the virtual uplink optimization problem, whose solution is then converted to derive the one of the multi-cell downlink beamforming problem. The proposed algorithm is proved to converge to a stable point. Additional, the complexity of the proposed algorithm is analyzed. Simulation results show that, in contrast to existing multi-cell beamforming schemes, the proposed algorithm achieves better performance in terms of both rate per energy (RPE) and the worst-user rate.