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BUZZ-European Hotels: RBC prefers Accor

** RBC initiates coverage of three hotel stocks: Accor (EUREX: 485822.EX - news) with ‘outperform’; Whitbread (Frankfurt: WHF4.F - news) and IHG with ‘sector perform’ ** Accor is RBC’s preferred company given its good room growth, defensive management, increased exposure to the luxury segment and strong regional mix (more exposed to Europe) ** RBC sees IHG as ‘interesting', a little more defensive although with a less diversified regional mix and slower room growth ** Broker sees EBIT CARG for IHG of 7% in the next 4 years and assumes group will maintain 1.8x Net Debt/EBITDA by year end with the group reducing this by 0.5x annually ** Brokerage says Whitbread has the highest room growth but its significant exposure to the UK is a risk - there is the risk of Brexit disrupting the economy ** Whitbread: the disposal of Costa Coffee should lead to a 2.7 bln pound return to shareholders, representing 32% of its equity - RBC (masha.trybus@thomsonreuters.com)