Best of the Brokers for 07 July 2014

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Citigroup has upgraded to “buy” from “neutral”, lifting the target price to 306p from 244p. The broker believes Direct Line can increasingly use its market-leading position to give it a competitive advantage, with further improvements in costs savings and efficiencies likely ahead.

Berbenberg has raised to “hold” from “sell”, upping the target price to 706p from 626p. The broker has a positive view of the acquisition of DirectAsia, and believes Hiscox is showing good discipline in a competitive reinsurance market, with a special dividend likely at the end of 2014.

Investec has kept its “buy” rating, increasing the target price to 255p from 210p. The broker believes that following the acquisition of Total Objects, the further recent acquisition of Agencyport Europe is an attractive deal which will significantly accelerate its growth potential.