Date: Monday 02 Jul 2012
Investec has reiterated its 'buy' rating and 240p target price for UK lender Barclays, saying that investors should take full advantage of the stock's recent underperformance.
Analyst Ian Gordon from Investec said: "As things stand it is unclear whether Barclays 'successfully' manipulated LIBOR rates at all, and to the extent that LIBOR rates were manipulated, all available evidence suggests that culpability will be shared, and the scale of 'achieved' manipulation comparatively modest."
Investec also said that it expects more radical action to address a "bloated" Barclays Capital (BarCap) cost base to get closer to the group's "unrealistic" return on equity aspirations: "This would help to underpin underlying operational performance."
As part of its review of the Lloyds of London insurance market, Jefferies said: "Although forecasts are for a relatively quiet hurricane season this year, the recent strong performance of the London Market insurers warrants some caution. With capital plentiful and deductibles intact, losses are likely to hurt book values without benefiting rates."
It said that this caution over the sector performance through hurricane season is not enough to change its views on Lancashire Holdings or Hiscox, which are both rated as 'buys'. As for Catlin, the shares are now close to Jefferies's price target of 470p so the broker cuts its rating from 'buy' to 'hold', "also noting higher end US windstorm exposure and a broadly untouched reinsurance deductible".
Credit Suisse has downgraded its recommendation for London property specialist Capital and Counties Properties (Capco) by two notches, from 'outperform' to 'underperform', after the stock's strong share price performance in the year-to-date.
"Despite being potentially one or so months away from a possible ‘green light’ on the material Earls Court and West Kensington Opportunity Area (ECWKO) planning application, we believe based on our valuation that the share price is now fully up with events and downgrade to 'underperform' as the risk to return bias fully supports profit taking at the current valuation."
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