Barclays Capital continues its slow but steady build on the research desk in Canada, adding a new telecom, media and technology analyst to focus on one of the most interesting sectors in the country at the moment.
The U.K.-based brokerage hired Phillip Huang, who had been at UBS, to cover stocks such as BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. The telecom sector especially is keenly watched by investors right now because of the potential entry of Verizon Communications Inc. into the Canadian market, which could shake up some of the most dependable businesses in the country.
Barclays, which opened up a local presence in 2010, now has Canadian-based coverage in the sectors that make up the bulk of the market capitalization of the TSX Composite Index, including financials, energy and consumer stocks.
Like many companies in those sectors, telecoms are one of the areas of Canadian businesses that have a fair bit of investor interest outside of Canada, making them appealing to cover for a foreign-based bank. Globally, Barclays has a large presence in the so-called TMT (telecom, media and technology) sector, with coverage in Europe and the U.S.
On the investment banking side here in Canada there is also a tie-in. Canadian country head Bruce Rothney has a background in media and telecom, having co-founded the team that covered the sector when he was working at RBC Dominion Securities.
Mr. Huang spent seven years with UBS, which of late has been drastically cutting back its Canadian operations. In January, a round of cuts at UBS hit the sales, trading and research areas, and resulted in new leadership at UBS in Canada.
(Boyd Erman is a Globe and Mail Capital Markets Reporter & Streetwise Columnist.)
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