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Admiral Group Plc boosted by big Nomura upgrade

Admiral Group Plc boosted by big Nomura upgrade

Admiral Group Plc (LON:ADM) was the subject of a big upgrade today as Nomura moved to ‘buy’, from ‘hold’, and lifted its price target to £23.25 from £16.30.

The broker is positive on the European general (or non-life) insurance sector which Nomura describes as ‘still very special’.

A ‘buy’ recommendation was also repeated for RSA Insurance Group Plc (LON:RSA), and Nomura’s target moved to 510p from 495p.

“As expected, the UK non-life names have performed well on a relative basis year to date amid market turbulence,” Nomura analyst Fahad Changazi said in a note.

“However, strong results by RSA, Direct Line and Admiral, and subsequent strong sharehttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/lb_icon1.png price performance on the day, served to highlight the bottom-up attractiveness of UK non-life stocks.”

Commenting specifically on Admiral, Changazi added: “Our two key reasons for upgrading Admiral are exposure to rising UK motor rates and potential to pay out excess capital return above guidance (£300m vs £150-200m guidance).”

Elsewhere, Citigroup spliced 35p off its price target for Barclays Plc (LON:BARC) - and the broker’s ‘buy’ now targets 200p per share.

Investec cooled on engineering group Meggit Plc (LON:MGGT) which it now rates as ‘add’ rather than ‘buy’.

Meanwhile, Liberum Capital downgraded Kurdistan oil producer Genel Energy Plc (LON:GENL) to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’. And, also downgraded African airline Fastjet Plc (LON:FJET) to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ as well.

Hay fever vaccine specialist Allergy Therapeutics PLC’s (LON:AGY) mix of continued commercial traction and breadth of new product opportunities underpins the investment case, according to Panmure Gordon.

A target price of 51p gives strong upside against current levels and a placing in November has given it the firepower to acquire/license additional products. Buy says the broker.

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