Seymour Pierce has issued a “sell” recommendation on Barclays, noting that during the last seven years, the bank has grown income by 18 per cent, while avoiding many of the toxic assets and poorly timed acquisitions. Barclays Capital’s top line could be 33 times the revenue of the UK retail bank, which the broker found absurd.

BNP Paribas has maintained a “buy” recommendation on Morgan Crucible but has upgraded valuation of the electronics company by 14 per cent to 270p as it sees an upside potential in Morgan Crucible’s share. BNP says that a yearly earnings per share growth of 25 per cent is not yet realised in the stock’s rating.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has raised recommendations for Diageo to “buy” from “hold”. S&P says the decision follows improved sentiment towards the wines and spirits stocks. It anticipates organic sales growth for the first quarter. Peers have also reported robust trading with de-stocking substantially ended.

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