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BEST OF THE BROKERS

<strong>TULLETT PREBON</strong><br />Noble downgraded its stance on Tullett Prebon to &ldquo;neutral&rdquo; following its interim management statement, in which it said that 81 brokers had been poached by BGC Partners and that foreign exchange rates have started working against it. Noble estimates that these two factors could negatively impact its 2010 operating profit.<br /><br /><strong>LANCASHIRE</strong><br />KBC Peel Hunt switched its rating on Lancashire from &ldquo;buy&rdquo; to &ldquo;sell&rdquo; and reduced its price target to 417p. The broker said that, despite hopes for bumper 2009 earnings, the firm&rsquo;s shares have not rallied following its third quarter update, reflecting the high degree of adverse sentiment towards the non-life insurance sector.<br /><br /><strong>MAJESTIC WINE</strong><br />Investec raised its recommendation on Majestic Wine to a &ldquo;buy&rdquo;, saying it sees scope for further sales and earnings growth. The broker said Majestic remains well-capitalised and well-placed for further expansion, which it feels warrants a higher valuation and so raised its price target to 280p, from 230p.