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BEST OF THE BROKERS

<strong>LLOYDS BANKING GROUP</strong><br />Charles Stanley yesterday maintained its &ldquo;hold&rdquo; position on Lloyds Banking Group. It said Lloyds has come a long way with its massive cash call to exit the government asset protection scheme. But it said the next two years are likely to be difficult and the group is unlikely to pay a dividend until at least 2011.<br /><br /><strong>AQUARIUS PLATINUM</strong><br />Evolution said Aquarius Platinum&rsquo;s completion of its $250m (&pound;150m) convertible bond offering would allow the group to redeem its previous rand denominated convertible loan, build a chrome plant at the Everest mine and leave around $75m to spare. Evolution retained its &ldquo;reduce&rdquo; recommendation.<br /><br /><strong>INTERMEDIATE CAPITAL</strong><br />Shore Capital yesterday retained its &ldquo;hold&rdquo; recommendation on Intermediate Capital after the company posted interim results of an &pound;8.1m pre-tax profit for the six months to 30th September. The results exceeded analysts&rsquo; expectations but Shore Capital considers that profits may still be vulnerable to future impairments.<br /><br />To appear in Best of the Brokers email your research to <strong>notes@cityam.com</strong>