Financial Institutions – Specialty & Other Finance: Second
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Financial Institutions – Specialty & Other Finance: Second

Nese Guner, Haley Tam


The Citi team of Nese Guner and Haley Tam rises one rung to second place. The researchers expanded coverage by four stocks last year, bringing their total to 19. They upgraded 3i Group from neutral to buy in June, at 191.30p, on the U.K.-based venture capital firm’s plans to cut operating costs and pay down debt. The stock had surged 13.5 percent, to 217.20p, by late December and remains highly recommended. “We see this as a powerful restructuring and self-help story for 2013,” says Tam. The pair’s outlook on the rest of the sector is neutral. “There have been some signs of investor-sentiment recovery in fund flows in recent months, but it is unclear how sustainable this will be,” she explains, adding that trading volumes are likely to remain subdued, with significant cyclical and structural pressures. The analysts provide “insightful research, based on their ability to see through managements’ positive spin,” observes one asset manager in Switzerland. — Leslie Kramer

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