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Lloyds and RBS to get big Xmas present from “market friendly election”

Analysts at Berenberg said Lloyd's and RBS will benefit from positive UK news, while HSBC's exposure to Hong Kong poses headwinds

Lloyds Banking Group - Lloyds and RBS to get biggest present if elections prove market-friendly, says Berenberg

Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:LLOY) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (LON:RBS) were picked by Berenberg as the angels atop the banking sector tree if the looming elections prove market-friendly.

In a note entitled “The 12 days of banks-mess”, analysts said Lloyds is set to outperform its peers, despite investors being sceptical of its strategy, as it is perceived as clean, simple and highly exposed to the UK economy.

READ: Lloyds to cut CEO’s salary by £228,000 following backlash over executive pay

However, Berenberg's number crunchers pointed out this would just be a short-term dynamic for the horse, while RBS can capture long-term benefits given its larger interest rate gearing and capacity to further increase lending, especially as credit losses normalise.

Noting that “Christmas did not come early for bank investors”, the analysts got into the spirit for the year ahead with a reflection on 12 festive themes: 12 months ahead, 11 years since Lehman, 10 outperform years, Nine months of protests, Eight – sector P/E, Seven laundry rumours, Six Commerz-bidders, Five winning banks, Four Basels looming, Three US rate cuts, Two rounds of QE and A party in the UK.

Other banks are likely to see short-term outperformance, according to the analysts, such as Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) from momentum in its investment banking arm.

Similarly, Standard Chartered PLC (LON:STAN) will benefit from relief on global trade, supported by a “comprehensive” global network including Asia and Africa.

Conversely, HSBC Holdings PLC’s (LON:HSBA) high exposure to Hong Kong is a weak point which sent the bank straight into Berenberg’s naughty list.

According to Berenberg, the impact of this year’s events will echo in 2020, inviting investors to be cautious over the sector.

“We believe headwinds from low interest rates and structural challenges facing investment banks remain poorly reflected in consensus and that cost inflation from the necessary investment in compliance and risk controls may be material,” analysts said in a note.

Quick facts: Lloyds Banking Group

Price: 61.6 GBX

LSE:LLOY
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £43.13 billion
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