Numis is bullish on the South African bank, claiming its well capitalised, highly liquid balance sheet will allow it strong growth opportunities in specialist high margin assets while its larger peers rebuild and focus on their standardised lending core. The broker considers the bank to be low-risk and raised its rating to “Buy”.

Execution Noble yesterday upped its price target on the chocolatier from 120p to 130p, saying that management has firm control over profit and loss levers even in a difficult sales environment. Thorntons’ first half pre-tax profit of £9.1m was well ahead of the broker’s estimate of £8.4m, reflecting tight cost control at the business.

WH Ireland released a damning note on the price comparison site, ahead of its prelims tomorrow. The broker said its negative view is based on intense competition and lack of differentiation between key rivals in the market, as well as worries over the effect on margins of the firm’s increasing use of cashback to entice customers.