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Sep 30, 2001

Putting a sell on hold

An honest recommendation

It really is little wonder that investment research is lacking in credibility. Try explaining to a novice that when an analyst puts hold on a research note, more often than not it actually means sell. 'So why don't they just say sell in the first place?' 'Because,' you reply with a patronizing chuckle at the ridiculous naivete of your student, 'being so upfront would risk offending the companies that they are independently analyzing.'In such circumstances, HSBC's recent announcement that it

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