Among the top performers in the European space is the Ireland
ETF, which had returned a whopping 47% over the past one year and
12% in the year-to-date time fame. The surge came as global
investors continued to pour money into the economy and the Euro
zone saw a modest recovery.
The rising streak is like to continue with St. Patrick's Day just
two trading sessions away. The holiday is mostly associated with
parades, wearing green and drinking. Investors too can't miss the
green in the equity markets on St. Patrick's Day which has a track
record of pushing the stock markets higher. This is mostly because
investors want more green in their portfolio and are in the mood to
spend for some luck on St. Patrick's Day (see:
all the European ETFs here
Further, an improving economy, increasing consumer confidence,
falling unemployment, reviving domestic demand and rising exports
amid high public debt in Ireland, inject optimism into the Irish
The Irish economy has emerged a stronger nation among the PIIGS
members and was the first Euro nation to exit from the bailout
program smoothly last December (read:
End of Bailout Puts Ireland ETF in Focus
Recent consumer sentiment survey has been positive as the KBC
Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index rose to a seven-year high to
85.5 in February from 84.6 in January and 59.4 in the year-ago
month. The manufacturing sector has also grown for the ninth
consecutive month as depicted by the Investec's monthly Purchasing
Managers' Index (PMI), which stood at 52.9 in February, slightly up
from 52.8 in January.
Unemployment dropped to the lowest level in almost five years at
11.9% in February from 12% in January and 13.8% in the year-ago
month. The strong data points to a huge turnaround in economic
growth, raising investor confidence and improving job market.
The economy is expected to have grown 0.4% in the final quarter of
2013 and will likely see more robust growth this year. As per the
European Commission, Irish GDP growth will likely expand 1.8% this
year, well above the Euro zone growth prediction of 1.2% (read:
3 ETFs Crushing Eurozone Competition
Moreover, Ireland is rated investment grade by all of the major
credit rating agencies, citing the country's growth potential.
Given encouraging trends, the Ireland ETF -
iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF (
- is expected to outperform in the coming months and be in focus on
the event of St. Patrick's Day.
EIRL in Focus
The fund tracks the MSCI All Ireland Capped Index and provides
exposure to a small basket of 24 Irish stocks. The product is
heavily concentrated on its top firm - CRH Plc - that alone
accounts for more than one-fifth share in the basket while the next
two firms - Kerry Group and Bank of Ireland - make up for
double-digit exposure. Other firms hold less than 4.6% of assets.
From a sector look, materials and consumer staples take the top two
spots at 25% each, followed by industrials (20.5%) and financials
(14%). The ETF accumulated about $167 million in its asset base and
sees pretty low volume of around 41,000 shares a day. It charges 48
bps in fees per year from investors and has a Zacks ETF Rank of 2
or 'Buy' rating (read:
Euro Zone Recovery Puts Ireland ETF in Focus
Given the promising macro trends, investors should definitely try
this Ireland ETF for some hidden luck. This fund is often
considered a better choice than the other European funds to play
the upcoming surge resulting from St. Patrick's Day and the bullish
outlook of the economy.
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ISHARS-MS IRLND (EIRL): ETF Research Reports
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