Credit Suisse (CS) has downgraded Holcim to neutral from outperform citing the stock’s recent outperformance and as CS sees the company as most at risk from a potential slowdown in China. Such a slowdown "could have negative implications for global commodity and energy prices, which would be a positive factor for the cement industry outside of China, but may have negative implications for countries like Australia, Brazil, Japan and South Africa," says CS. "Holcim appears as the group with the highest exposure to these countries."
Meanwhile, JPMorgan Cazenove has lowered Holcim’s price target to CHF54 from CHF67.30 on concerns a potential global economic slowdown will impact on demand for building materials. The company’s rating is kept at overweight as it has been out of favour recently as cement costs rose, but margins could start showing signs of improvement, JPM says.