BEST OF THE BROKERS

CLOSE BROTHERS
UBS resumes coverage of Close Brothers with a “neutral” rating and 680p price target. Sees potential upside from the group’s drive to rationalise its businesses and expects the banking division to continue to do well but believes this is already reflected in the share price. However, says the asset management business has potential.

UNITED UTILITIES
JP Morgan Cazenove downgrades United Utilities to “neutral” from “overweight”. Expects earnings per share to be downgraded due to a triple whammy of earnings dilution from asset disposals, the impact of higher property rates and higher interest costs. Believe the shares will not rise further without fresh M&A activity.

ADECCO
Goldman Sachs downgrades Adecco to “sell” saying it expects its recent top-line growth to plateau this quarter due to recent negative data on employment trends in the US and France. Also expects lower economic growth to weigh on forecasts for next year. Advises buying Michael Page, Hays, or Robert Walters instead.