Market report: Barclays scores in Square Mile as traders draw hope from Bramson

Market report: Barclays scores in Square Mile as traders draw hope from Bramson

Thanks to its new sponsorship of Pep Guardiola’s title-winning Man City, Barclays might have been hoping for a halo effect, but it was a small maestro from New York — rather than the master tactician from Spain — who weaved his midas touch over the stock on Monday.

Ed Bramson’s raid on the UK lender — he took 5% last month — has triggered fresh confidence at Jefferies, who moved to Buy from Hold, which helped to send shares up 1.3p, or 0.7%, to 214.75p.

The broker sees £900 million of cost savings if Bramson succeeds is shaking up Barclays’ investment bank’s notoriously sluggish cost-to-income ratio — which lags even perennial basket case Deutsche Bank.

Combined with its big legal settlement, a Man City-style revival at the banking industry’s own Sky Blues could be on the cards

Markets shrugged off UK, French and US bombs dropping in Syria to hold their nerves today, with the FTSE 100 down slightly — off 14.92 points, or 0.26%, at 7249.64.

Corporate news drove the moves, with WPP down 32.5p to 1155p after Sir Martin Sorrell’s exit. Costa-owner Whitbread gained 255p — about the same price as a flat white — to 4190p after Elliott popped up on the register.

Rat-catcher Rentokil was scurrying down 3p, or 1.07%, to 276.5p after Deutsche Bank downgraded the business to a Hold rating from a Buy — target price down to 310p from 335p — because of fears that the market is getting ahead of itself on the group’s prospects.

Still, it was more painful for the bank’s analysts than for Rentokil: they lamented that they cut the rating “with regret”.

“Rentokil is one of our favourite stocks in the sector… However, we see consensus profit expectations as too high for 2018, at least prior to more M&A announced,” they said.

Farming gets little traction in the City — apart from the odd banker showing up in his 4x4 wearing a pair of Hunter wellies — but agriculture group Carr’s pleased investors today with a less-than-sheepish set of results.

Revenue rose 13.2% to £200 million and pre-tax profits were a healthy £11 million — up 22%. Shares rose 14.6p, or 10.7%, 151.88p.

Farmers are seemingly bullish despite the uncertainty over Brexit, with Shore Capital pointing to the “improved trading backdrop” for UK agriculture as a big driver for future improvements.

Finally, newly listed wealth management platform group Integrafin got the red carpet treatment from brokers at Peel Hunt, who initiated coverage on the stock with an Add rating at 266p.

Shares are already up more than 30% since the listing and the broker said there’s room to run because of the stickiness of revenues — 96% of sales are recurring — and high margins at 47%. Shares were flat at 260p.

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