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BEST OF THE BROKERS

BARCLAYS
Execution has initiated coverage of Barclays with a “buy” rating. The broker said revenues at BarCap should be relatively sustainable due to its diverse fixed income business and revenue growth from its organic investment programme. It also sees Barclays as the best European investment bank on tangible equity to assets.

BG GROUP
Collins Stewart reiterated its “buy” stance on oil company BG yesterday, ahead of a strategy presentation on 5 February. The broker expects the firm to confirm a solid outlook for its LNG division and reiterate its strong growth targets for 2010. It raised its target price to £13.75 a share, partly on possible lower development costs in Brazil.

MARKS AND SPENCER
Singer Capital Markets yesterday said the strong set of third quarter figures released by retailer Matalan confirms that the turnaround is gaining momentum, but warned that this strength potentially represents a competitive threat to main middle-market operators, particularly Marks and Spencer and also including Debenhams and Next.

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