Best of the Brokers for 03 September 2014

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CLOSE BROTHERS
Berenberg has upgraded Close Brothers to its Alpha stamped conviction “buy” list, and increas­ed the target price to 1,665p from 1,640p. The broker considers Close its top pick among speciali­st lenders, and thinks there is a good buying opportunity for this high-quality growth business.

BALFOUR BEATTY
UBS has maintained its “neutral” rating, but upped the target price to 240p from 225p. The broker thinks the most challenging task for the company is the turnaround of its UK construction business, which UBS thinks will take time and is likely to be bumpy, with risk-reward balanced.

AFREN
JP Morgan Cazenove has kept its “overweight”, rating, but cut the target price to 137p from 188p. The broker thinks the most severe damage from the investigation into unauthorised payments has already been done, but that share value is unlikely to recover till the investigation finishes.