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Europe Local Brokers

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Investing in Europe has gotten a little more certain, according to the region’s top sell-side research providers.

“Last September, equity markets were at relative lows and recession in Europe seemed inevitable,” said Theepan Jothilingam, head of EMEA research at BNP Paribas Exane. “Talk of a recession has turned to expectations of a soft landing, especially with inflation now appearing on a glidepath towards central bank targets. The debate will continue to rage on.”

While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to have an impact on commodity markets and the outlook for inflation, the volatility stemming from the war has been less pronounced in 2023 versus 2022, Jothilingam said. Fears of a cold winter without Russian gas were abated when Europe took steps to reduce its dependence on Russian energy and the European Union’s reserves of natural gas hit a historic high in August.

When the Russia-Ukraine conflict began last year, there was lots of uncertainty around its economic impact, confirmed Eric Lopez, head of EMEA equity research at BofA Securities. “We hit a low point in Q3 and Q4 when gas prices reached an all-time high, but good storage levels and a warm winter put downward pressure on gas prices, helping to restore some confidence around the outlook for European economies,” he said. “Inflation has been a key driver for financial markets and has led to multiple rate hikes in most developed economies.”

Two research teams were once again lockstep with the buy-side in Institutional Investor’s annual Developed Europe Research Team survey. BofA Securities, defending its 2022 title, this year shares the pole position with BNP Paribas Exane, based on responses from almost 5,500 investment professionals at more than 1,800 institutions.

For the 2023 Developed Europe Local Broker results, Institutional Investor received responses from over 2,140 investment professionals at more than 980 institutions.

To create the Local Broker results, country research is aggregated with country sales and, in some markets, corporate access, small & midcap stocks, and trading & execution to create the overall Best Overall Local Broker results.

The individuals surveyed are kept confidential to ensure continuing cooperation. Voters must meet eligibility requirements, and winners must achieve a minimum vote count.

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