STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-SocGen adds ABB and Nokia to premium list

Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:14am EST

Societe Generale have added ABB and Nokia to their "premium list" of top stock picks, as they look to add so-called cyclical stocks which tend to rise with economic optimism.

"With investors now demonstrating a stronger affinity towards risk, we are increasing our exposure to cyclical stocks," analysts at Societe Generale write in a note.

"We believe that ABB and Nokia are in an ideal position to take advantage of this year's stronger economic growth, particularly in the U.S., as projected by our economists, on the back of their cyclical businesses such as electricity networks, automated technology, wireless telephones and telecommunications network equipment."

Nokia's share price dropped by over 20 percent last year, but it is already up 18 percent in 2013, as a strong fourth-quarter showing and good sales of their new Lumia handset helped to assuage concerns that the mobile phone manufacturer was losing out against major market competitors Apple and Samsung.

Societe Generale also adds Banco Espirito Santo to the SG Premium List, citing the Portuguese bank's relatively sound balance sheet, good liquidity and potential for outpeformance.

The bank has added over 27 percent so far in 2013, building on a 10 percent gain last year, but still trades at a price-to-book ratio of 0.7, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data. This means the bank still trades below the accounting value of its assets.

Roche is taken off the premium list, with Societe Generale saying that the stock's strong performance has reduced the potential for future outperformance.

The Swiss drug stock has added nearly 20 percent since the beginning of 2012.

Reuters messaging rm://alistair.smout.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net

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