May 24, 2016 / 7:56 AM / a year ago

BUZZ-KBC and ING: Goldman Sachs upgrade boost stocks

** Lenders KBC Groep and ING Groep up 2.7 pct and 1.6 pct respectively after Goldman Sachs talks up Benelux banks

** GS upgrades both ING and KBC to “buy” rating from “Neutral”; adds KBC to conviction buy list

** ING PT unchanged at 15 euros while KBC PT raised to 70 euros from 61 euros; KBC is GS top pick among the Benelux banks

** Brokerage reckons KBC well placed to maintain top lending growth, as it expects a gradual recovery in fee income, cost control and modest impairments to help offset expected NIM headwinds

** KBC top performer on Belgian blue chip index BEL 20 ; 5th top performer on Stoxx 600

** On ING, any indication of an easing regulatory burden should become a strong positive catalyst for the shares, Goldman says

** Both ING and KBC among the top gainers on the European banking stocks, which is up 0.9 pct (RM:

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