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Crédit Agricole: share rises with Jefferies upgrade

( - On Wednesday, Crédit Agricole shares posted the second-biggest rise in the CAC 40 index on the back of a recommendation upgrade by Jefferies.

Shortly before 2pm, the stock was up by 2.4%, while the STOXX Europe 600 Banks sector index was up 1.5%. Also in the financial sector, BNP Paribas shares rose 1.5%, while Société Générale added 1.1%.

Jefferies justifies its upgrade by a return on tangible equity (ROTE) of over 14%, the prospect of a return to shareholders representing more than 50% of the current valuation in the form of growth in tangible net assets per share and dividends, and also by possible upward revisions to market forecasts.

In addition to the capital reduction, the broker said it considered the French establishment to be a 'high-quality' player capable of benefiting from its integrated model as an insurer, asset and wealth manager and investment services provider, while also considering it to be an influential player in urban areas.

The broker adds that CASA's earnings are less correlated to ECB rate movements than those of other components of the STOXX Europe 600 Banks, offering potential diversification in the current context of monetary easing.

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