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BEST OF THE BROKERS

ALLIANZ
Execution Noble has upgraded its recommendation on Allianz to a “hold” because it feels the insurer is fairly valued. But Execution Noble said the insurer’s new operating profit guidance for 2010 is hardly inspiring relative to peers. Execution Noble remain cautious over the outlook of Allianz’s property and casualty business.

BAYER
RBS Equity Research has initiated a “buy” rating for drug maker Bayer because it likes its diversified sustainable businesses, exposure to fast-growing emerging markets and limited generic exposure. RBS’ revenue estimates are not exposed to any single drug. Pipeline news flow this year could provide material upside.

VOLKSWAGEN
Volkswagen continues to receive a “buy” rating from Standard & Poor’s (S&P’s) for its solid balance sheet and operational strength, including strong brand portfolio, solid pricing, global scale and commanding emerging market positions. S&P continue to see the auto group as the logical route into an undervalued global auto leader.