Citi, Lehman, RBS, Standard Chartered, M&A

Sandler O'Neill analyst Jeffrey Harte told CNBC Thursday that shares in Citi could rise to $6-$8 in the coming months, 'as there's a real business there and I don't think that people really appreciate that the toxic assets are in the past'. The stock closed at $4.81 in New York Thursday.

In the meantime, The Financial Times reports that a US judge has now approved the plan that will result in Lehman Brothers emerging from bankruptcy. A new asset management company, to be called Lamco, will rise from the ashes to manage Lehman's remaining assets and investments. Under the terms of the plan, Lehman's secured creditors look likely to be paid in full, with unsecured creditors receiving between 15 - 27% of their claims.

And Bloomberg reports that shares in Royal Bank of Scotland are on the rise Friday, after a bullish research note from analysts over at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who have said: 'RBS is one of the most geared banks into recovery in Europe. We think it can turn a profit in 2010'.

The news agency also reports that Standard Chartered is to beef up its global markets unit in China by 40%, hiring 40 additional staff by 2012 into its fixed-income and currency businesses.

Finally, Reuters reports that JPMorgan investment banking head Douglas Braustein told a conference in New Orleans Thursday that he was bullish about the prospects for a recovery in M&A. Braustein said: 'We all expected to have a strong 2010, but it has taken the first quarter for people to be assured that we're not going to see a double-dip. Today, signs are much more positive'.

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