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BEST OF THE BROKERS

XSTRATA
Investec Securities yesterday initiated coverage on what it called “the predator of the mining industry”. The broker put a “buy” recommendation on the stock, saying that looking beyond Xstrata’s M&A capabilities, the firm has excellent organic growth prospects and the best leverage of its peer group to rising commodity prices.

BOVIS HOMES
Panmure Gordon yesterday reiterated its “buy” recommendation and 574p target price on Bovis ahead of the firm’s trading update today. It thinks Bovis has one of the strongest landbanks in the sector and a solid balance sheet, putting it in a strong position to make attractive land acquisitions in the future.

J SAINSBURY
Collins Stewart initiated coverage of Sainsbury’s with a “sell” rating, claiming the retailer could “become the loser” in the UK food market during 2010. It said Sainsbury’s would be troubled by declining food price inflation and a resurgent Tesco, while operating margins are lagging at 3.3 per cent, well behind the firm’s peers.

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