Execution Noble says the government will sell down Lloyds shares ahead of the election due to strong results and a good level of income growth. Costs are well controlled and lower than the equivalent period in 2009. They continue to expect Lloyds to report net profit of at least £529m for 2010, against a consensus loss of £973m.

Standard and Poor’s, the credit ratings agency, has maintained its “buy” recommendation for the mobile phone provider. The handset market is developing well for Nokia, with increased demand for mid-tier smartphones and solid subscriber growth in emerging markets, led by India, the agency said.

The pharmaceutical group has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ratiopharm for €3.625bn (£3.26bn). RBS Equity Research says the deal represents a strategic fit for Teva. There are risks, according to RBS, but it is not changing its sales and earnings estimates and has maintained a “buy” rating.