Investment: Sharewatch

BUY

Standard Chartered says SG Securities. (850p.) Standard's strategy has been to expand through the Asian economic downturn, positioning the group to capitalise on Asian economic recovery from 2000 onwards. Long term economic growth of 4-8 per cent, compared to 2-3 per cent in Europe, offers the prospect of higher rates of return for Standard Chartered than for the domestic UK banks. This gives a price target of 1200p a share. WPP is a good buy (523p) says Charles Stanley. In addition to acquired growth, the apparent scope for margin expansion within the existing businesses should continue to transform single digit revenue growth into double digit earnings for some time to come.

SELL

J D Wetherspoon (284p) says Charterhouse Securities, which predicts two years of good growth before momentum begins to slow down. As a consequence, there is a high probability that the rating will decline from its current premium level. It suggests that investors should look to reduce holdings and reinvest them elsewhere into quality operators with plenty more mileage ahead of them.

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