BEST of the BROKERS

GENEL
UBS has started covering the energy firm with a “buy” rating and a 12-month price target of 850p. The broker is optimistic about the political situation in the Kurdish region of Iraq, where Genel operates, and is impressed by the firm’s assets in the region. UBS also expects the group to make some high-impact acquisitions with its $1.8bn cash pile, putting Turkey and West and East Africa in the frame.

AQUARIUS PLATINUM
Citi rates the miner “neutral” and has slashed its target price from 140p to 80p following the temporary closure of its Marikana mine on Monday. The broker is assuming that the South African mine will be closed for two years, meaning the firm has to rely on its Zimbabwean operations – which are working under the threat of government seizure. To reflect this risk, Citi has cut its target price from 0.9 to 0.8 times net present value.

FLYBE
Espirito Santo rates the airline “neutral” with a fair value of 65p per share, up from 55p. While the broker admits Flybe’s results were weak in absolute terms, the losses were “not quite as bad as feared”. Espirito Santo thinks the firm is well positioned to profit from the UK’s eventual economic recovery though it accepts that a swift return to material profitability is unlikely.