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Lloyds share price steady as Jefferies remains bullish

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Lloyds Banking Group’s (LON:LLOY) share price has advanced in London in today’s session as Jefferies reaffirmed its bullish rating on the bailed-out lender. Proactive Investors reports that a survey by the broker has revealed that mortgage pricing remains relatively stable, with Lloyds offering the lowest rates.

As of 14:18 BST, Lloyds’ share price had climbed 1.18 percent higher to 57.27p as of 14:18 BST, largely in line with gains in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 1.32 percent higher at 7,523.47 points. The group’s shares have given up just under 10 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 1.5-percent fall in the Footsie.

Jefferies sees Lloyds as ‘buy’

Jefferies reaffirmed the London-listed lender as a ‘buy’ today, with a target of 99p on Lloyds’ share price. Proactive Investors quoted the broker as commenting that  a recent meeting with the bailed-out lender’s chief financial officer had suggested that the bank was maintaining its volume weighted pricing at or higher than the market. The broker, however, reckons that the FTSE 100 group is targeting certain channels such as the remortgage market where pricing is more competitive.

Jefferies noted that  Lloyds should continue to ‘tick the boxes’ on stability of capital and net interest margin, with the likely ‘controversial aspect’ being management’s guidance for flat other income in 2019. The analysts meanwhile do not expect the bailed-out lender’s first-half results to act as a catalyst for the shares.

Mortgage market update

Proactive Investors further reported that Jefferies’ survey has revealed that Lloyds offers the lowest mortgage rates in the UK.

“Lloyds screens optically as more aggressive on pricing (having spent most of 2018 and 2017 in the middle of the pack), at the bottom of the banks we surveyed for lower loan to value (LTV) products (conversely, it appears that the group has priced itself out of the market for high LTV products),” the broker pointed out.

RBC recently maintained its ‘outperform’ rating on the bailed-out lender, arguing that the company was the most capital generative of the UK banks and offers a consistent dividend yield of 11 percent. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating, while the average target on Lloyds’ share price stands at 70.69p.

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