Evolution Securities reiterates its “buy” rating on 3i ahead of today’s pre-close trading update. It cut its net asset value forecast from 330p to 320p to account for the failure of British Seafood Holdings, but says this is the only cloud on what should have been a strong year. It expects recovering company earnings to boost 3i overall.

Execution Noble reiterates its “buy” status on Amlin noting that it has no exposure to windstorm Xynthia as a key positive. It also praises its substantial amount of reinsurance cover, no further incremental exposure to the Chilean earthquake and structure of its retro-reinsurance cover if further large losses occur during 2010.

Seymour Pierce says Babcock’s decision to buy VT group for £1.3bn is a sensible move which makes strategic sense. It says the acquisition will cement Babcock’s position in UK defence outsourcing. It says it will also help expand its US presence, and expects cost synergies of £58m. Seymour reiterates its “buy” recommendation.