Western European Countries – United Kingdom: Second
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Western European Countries – United Kingdom: Second

Mark Braley & team

Deutsche Bank

Up one rung to second place is Deutsche Bank’s London-based squad of 60 captained by Mark Braley, who also directs a runner-up team in Media. The analysts follow 184 U.K. equities, roughly the same number as last year, and “have strong, contrarian views and show plenty of independence,” proclaims one buy-side enthusiast. Lloyds Banking Group is among the team’s top picks for 2013, on the London-based institution’s “leading position in mortgages, credit cards and deposits,” Braley explains, as well as “the efficient nature of its operating platform — particularly as the results of the £1.9 billion [$2.99 billion] simplification plan become more evident.” The analysts have a target price of 66p, which is roughly 38 percent higher than the stock’s closing price of 47.92p at the end of December. They are also bullish on Rio Tinto, thanks to the British-Australian mining giant’s “high-quality suite of assets, above-average returns and operating margins,” he says. The shares, which ended last year at 3,511.50, should climb about 30 percent, to 4,580p, the researchers believe. — Paul Sweeney

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