picked out six key "buy" calls and 4 "underperforms" as their
top ideas in EMEA for the first quarter.
The analysts highlighted Swiss bank Credit Suisse as a candidate
to outperform, saying that the markets division was set to beat
expectations and lead to positive surprises.
"After years of watching the gradual erosion of Markets revenue
forecasts, we now believe consensus estimates are far too
bearish for 2017," analysts at BofA-ML said in a note.
The bank said its 2018 pre-tax profit forecasts for Credit
Suisse were 10 percent above consensus, but still 10 percent
below company targets.
AstraZeneca <AZN.L> is favored as the firm has an
"under-appreciated pipeline which offers potential for premium
growth" compared to sector peers, the analysts say.
The company has five drugs with a combined potential $18 billion
in peak sales due to see final stage results in the U.S. over
the next 12-18 months, BofA-ML analysts note.
The other "buys" are British American Tobacco, Telecom Italia,
payments processor Worldpay and media group ProSieben.
Among stocks expected to underperform are Italian luxury stock
Luxottica and Airbus.
The bank says that greater competition and waning brand momentum
make it harder for Luxottica to justify a 30 percent premium
valuation, while Airbus also looks expensive given its own
headwinds, including slowing order momentum.
Dutch coatings and paints maker Akzo Nobel and Sweden's
Sandvik are highlighted as the other two key "underperform"
(Reporting by Alistair Smout, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)
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