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Countrywide “investible again” says bank - and even Foxtons is upgraded

The investment bank which on Friday put Purplebricks under the cosh has now given a boost to two High Street estate agencies that had previously been in trouble - Countrywide and Foxtons.

Berenberg, a respected financial institution which sends investment notes to its High Net Worth clients, made a scathing attack on Purplebricks on Friday morning, accusing it of having “flown too close to the sun.”

It scythed its projected price by 80 per cent from 470p to 80p and sent its share price tumbling: however, it has now spoken highly of two traditional firms.

On Countrywide it says that after a period of mismanagement [under the leadership of former chief executive Alison Platt] its stock is “investible” again.

“Although recent performance has been very poor, many of the wounds were self-inflicted. With a new management team and a refreshed, but reassuringly simple, strategy in place, we feel the risk/reward dynamic is now more positive.”

Berenberg shifted its rating from Hold to Buy.

Foxtons, too, enjoyed the limelight from the investment bank, which described the agency as the leader in the London field, adding it was poised to reap the benefits of a recovery when the capital’s market eventually improved.

“While the outlook for transactions remains somewhat bleak, the [Foxtons] group remains highly geared into any uptick in transactional volumes” the bank says.

Berenberg shifted its rating from Sell to Hold.


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