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BMO Named to Bloomberg’s GEI Index Once Again

·2 min read

BMO Financial Group (TSE: BMO) announced Wednesday that it has been included in the Bloomberg's Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for the seventh consecutive year.

Recognition for Gender Equality, Inclusion Practices

The GEI recognizes companies committed to gender equality and inclusion in the workplace and community. It publicly displays each company's commitment to the equality and advancement of women. The index has includes 418 companies in 45 countries and regions.

The index measures gender equality in five areas: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, anti-sexual harassment policies, and pro-women brand.

This recognition makes BMO a global leader in gender inclusion, as well as a leader in the financial industry.

BMO believes that strong support for women entrepreneurs and striving for diversity in the supply chain enables its customers to benefit from its commitment to breaking down barriers to inclusion.

Management Commentary

"Gender inclusion is a fundamental part of BMO's Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 strategy to provide access to opportunities and enable growth for our colleagues, customers and the communities we serve," said Mona Malone, Chief Human Resources Officer and Head of People and Culture, BMO Financial Group.

"Our Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, includes a commitment to an inclusive society with zero barriers; a key to our success and this recognition. We are again honoured to be recognized by Bloomberg for our efforts in support of gender inclusion."

Wall Street's Take

On January 19, Barclays analyst John Aiken upgraded BMO to Buy from Hold and raised its price target to C$165 (from C$140). This implies 12.5% upside potential.

Aiken stated that as the central banks tick closer to eventual rate hikes, the outlook for global banks improves. For the Canadian bank sector, which has been facing net interest margin compression, the "relief will be palpable." He says BMO "may have bought Bank of the West at the exact right time."

The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic on BMO with a Moderate Buy analyst consensus rating based on seven Buys and three Holds.

The average Bank of Montreal price target of C$157.38 implies 7.3% upside potential to current levels.

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