Salomon Top Rated Australia Broker, Survey Says (Update 1) 10/7/99 0:10

Sydney, Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Salomon Smith Barney Australia Ltd., a unit of Citigroup Inc., leads equity research and trading in Australia, according to the latest annual survey by consultants Coles Christie & Associates Ltd.

Salomon ranked first in research and analysis as well as settlement and execution of equity, said Sydney-based Coles Christie, which compiled the results based on a survey of 30 investors who oversee A$120 billion (US$79.2 billion) in Australian equities.

J.B.Were & Son came second, with Credit Suisse First Boston Australia Ltd. third.

"The survey generally reflects the unofficial views of some of the institutional investors,'' said David Trude, managing director Credit Suisse First Boston Australia Equities Ltd. in Sydney.

Coles Christie has been conducting research on stockbrokers in Australia since 1989 and is one of several houses that ranks Australian stockbrokers. The company said it also weighted responses from fund managers, depending on the amount of money managed. The analysts who cover the largest sectors of the All Ordinaries index, such as banks which make up a fifth of the index, were given more importance in the survey than analysts who cover smaller sectors such as gold miners which make up 1.5 percent of the index.

Salomon welcomed the results at a time when competition among stockbrokers is increasing and with U.S. investment banks -- including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. -- expanding their Australian operations.

"There are many indicators of how well you're doing and its nice to do well in one survey but we never place undue emphasis on one,'' said Mark Fulton, Salomon managing director and head of research in Sydney, after being ranked as the top strategist here.

Star Analysts

Merrill Lynch (Australia) Ltd. had the most number one ranked analysts with six, while Salomon and CSFB each had five.

Merrill's top ranked analysts include Patrick Russel, in telecommunications, Dawn Oldham in food, Sally Warneford in chemicals and health care, Vicky Binns in base metals, and Andrew Fleming in small capitalized stocks.

The top bank analyst was Brian Johnson of Ord Minnett Group Ltd. and the leading analyst of Broken Hill Proprietary Co., Australia's largest resources company, was Peter Hickson of Warburg Dillon Read Australia Ltd.

George Colman, Salomon's media analyst is ranked number one.

"Our overall ranking has been affected negatively by our low ratings in the banking and media sectors,'' said Jeremy King, head of research at Warburg Dillon Read Australia Ltd. in Melbourne.

Following is a table of the overall results:


Salomon Smith Barney

1 J.B.Were & Son

Credit Suisse First Boston

Ord Minnett

Merrill Lynch

Deutsche Bank

Warburg Dillon Read

Macquarie Equities




Hartley Poynton

Burdett, Buckeridge & Young

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter


--Brett Cole and Robert Stewart in the Sydney newsroom on (612) 9777 8601/bg