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I think these could be the best FTSE 100 shares to buy now

Buying cheap FTSE 100 shares could be a means of generating high returns in the coming years. As such, here are two cheap blue-chip stocks that could be the best shares to buy now to play a stock market recovery.

A share I’d buy today

The recent stock market volatility has taken its toll on financial services group M&G (LSE: MNG). However, the company’s underlying fundamentals suggest the market has overestimated the impact the coronavirus crisis will have on the business. This disconnect may mean it’s one of the best shares to buy now. 

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Indeed, the company rebuffed regulators by sticking to its dividend plans for the year. That was despite a request by regulators to suspend the payout.

Following this decision, and M&G’s recent weak share price performance, the stock now yields 11%. This income potential is one of the main reasons why I think M&G could be one of the best shares to buy now.

Certainly, the outlook for the asset manager is relatively challenging. Stock market volatility could continue over the coming months as the global economy struggles to recover from the coronavirus shock.

Nevertheless, M&G has been trying to diversify by branching out into the wealth management sector. For example, it recently acquired a new management business from peer Royal London.

All of the above suggests this could be one of the best shares to buy now while investor sentiment towards financial services businesses remains depressed. Doing so could produce high total returns in the coming years.

Intermediate Capital Group

Intermediate Capital Group (LSE: ICP) is another financial sector company that’s suffering from depressed investor sentiment. Over the past six months, shares in the asset manager have fallen by more than a fifth, which could make it one of the best shares to buy now. 

Still, once again, the group’s fundamentals don’t seem to support the selloff. Its latest trading update showed a decline in profits for the year ended 31 March of 37%. However, assets under management rose 22% to €45.3bn, with €10.2bn of new money raised. These numbers imply that investor demand for Intermediate Capital’s services remains high.

The positive performance allowed management to announce a 2% increase in the final dividend. The company now yields around 4%. This income potential, coupled with the firm’s strong underlying growth, suggests this is one of the best shares to buy now.

While income might fall further in the near term as the crisis continues to impact asset values, the booming demand for Intermediate Capital’s services is hugely positive. Therefore, as the outlook for the global economy improves over the long run, Intermediate Capital could be a significant beneficiary.

As such, now could be an excellent time to take advantage of depressed investor sentiment in the short term, and buy a stock that has the potential to generate high total returns in the long run.

If you’re looking for stock market crash bargains, Intermediate Capital could be one of the best shares to buy now for the reasons above.

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Rupert Hargreaves owns shares in M&G Plc. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.