BEST OF THE BROKERS

STANDARD CHARTERED
JP Morgan rates the bank “overweight” with a target price of £18. The broker believes the group is well positioned to benefit from its strong balance sheet, which includes $150bn of near-cash equity. Following meetings with management across the firm’s Asian operations, JP Morgan also notes that revenues are still rising, costs are under control and impairments remain low, and has added the bank to its European analyst focus list.

JULIUS BAER
Credit Suisse has initiated coverage on the Swiss private bank with an “outperform” rating and a target price of SwF39, indicating a 23 per cent potential upside. The broker sees Julius Baer as a key industry player due to its strong brand and management, as well as its robust profitability. While Credit Suisse estimates that the firm could lose up to SwF13bn of western European assets, the broker sees this figure as manageable.

DIAGEO
Morgan Stanley rates the drinks giant “overweight” with a target price of £14. While the broker thinks many in the market are sceptical about the company’s new three-year targets, it thinks Diageo’s upbeat outlook is likely to be justified. Morgan Stanley notes the firm’s plans to accelerate growth in the US and its target to generate at least two per cent of sales growth in developed markets such as Europe.