Morgan Stanley auto analyst can't issue price targets on 2 of the world's biggest car companies

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler, holds a press conference at the 2015 North American International Auto Show on January 12, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan.Bill Pugliano/GettySergio Marchionne, FCA’s CEO.

Morgan Stanley has said that its lead auto analyst, Adam Jonas, can’t really analyse General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Bloomberg’s David Welch reports:

The restrictions, imposed [last] Friday, mean Jonas can’t give recommendations or price targets on the companies. When it became public that FCA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne approached GM CEO Mary Barra about discussing a merger, the bank decided as a matter of policy to restrict his coverage, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorised to speak publicly on research policy. Morgan Stanley would probably end up working for GM if Marchionne makes any progress in his efforts to press for a deal, which GM doesn’t want, the people said.

Jonas has been positive on FCA, and has in the past expressed disappointment that GM isn’t performing better.

But his real interest has generally been Tesla, as well as an emerging and at-times radical thesis, for Wall Street, that transportation is on the verge of a massive disruption, intensified by self-driving cars and the arrival of technology companies such as Apple and Google to the automotive game.

We’re assuming that even if Jonas can’t issues recommendations or price targets, he and his team can still keep tabs on GM and FCA.

But an interesting sideline to FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s increasingly desperate effort to merge Fiat Chrysler with somebody is that Jonas, the most interesting mobility analyst on Wall Street, can now spend more time thinking about the future of getting around and the implications for investors of major change.

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