Banking stocks were performing well on Monday afternoon as investors’ appetites for risk were sparked by increased hopes over the US budget.
Global lender HSBC rose after confirming press speculation that it is mulling a sale of its minority stake in Chinese insurance giant Ping An Insurance. HSBC holds a 15.57% stake in Ping An, China’s second-largest insurance firm by assets, which is worth an estimated $9.5bn.
The stock was also given a lift by Invtestec which lifted its rating on the shares to ‘buy’ this morning, saying that the downgrade cycle could finally be over.
Sector peer Barclays was performing well after Goldman Sachs upgraded its recommendation to ‘buy’.
The investment bank’s analysts believe the key could be the announcement of plans to restructure at the group’s strategy review meeting on February 12th 2013.
If Barclays delivers on a business plan to generate returns that match the group’s cost of capital, the stock could offer sector-leading upside, on our analysis.’
Meanwhile, Lloyds was making gains after announcing that it is selling a portfolio of Irish commercial real estate loans as part of its strategy to de-risk its balance sheet and reduce its non-core assets.
The portfolio will sell for £149m, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013. The sale proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes.
Top performing sectors so far today
Industrial Metals & Mining 2,445.82 +4.58%
Automobiles & Parts 4,867.85 +3.58%
Banks 4,227.56 +3.48%
Personal Goods 19,090.00 +3.20%
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 23,563.66 +3.01%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Industrial Transportation 2,266.77 -0.34%
Tags: barclays | core assets | corporate purposes | goldman sachs | HSBC | investment bank | market surge | minority stake | real estate loans | sector movers