Monday, 4th May 2015

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Sunday tips: Lloyds, Vedanta

Sun 3rd May 15, 15:43:09

The Conservative party's decision to sell the state's remaining stake in Lloyds - should it retain power - is a cockamamie scheme, as it would impose extra costs on the bank. Management should be focused on executing strategy, not on fulfilling election pledges. Nonetheless, the equity story for retail investors - who can already buy in now - is still decent. The stock offers an attractive 5.1% dividend yield and the lender looks like it has the ability to pay. Growth in the loan book, at 2%, was unexciting over the first quarter. Likewise, the shares are trading at 1.3 times book value, the highest such valuation of any major UK bank. However, net interest margin jumped from 2.3% to 2.6% courtesy of better pricing on deposits. That suggests the dividend should not be a problem. Furthermore, at 13.4% of assets capital looks solid although there is still potential for more misconduct charges, says the Financial Times's Lex column.

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