ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Although Ireland has a closed-end fund (CEF), it would be wonderful if they could get an exchange traded fund (ETF) by the time St. Patty’s Day comes.

Unfortunately, the New Ireland Fund (IRL) hasn’t been doing so well lately. Currently, it’s down 22% year-to-date. IRL’s decline seems unusual when its top holding has experienced good news recently. CRH, a building-materials company, is IRL’s top holding at 16.5%. The company announced that it is going after $4 billion in Cemex assets and has been moving into U.S. markets to take advantage of pressure on the housing and construction industry, says Carl Delfeld for ETF XRAY. However, IRL’s second largest holding, Allied Irish Banks at 14.9%, has run into some problems. Banking problems such as a mismatch between funding and lending rates have been a big issue. The company’s stock took a 7.1% hit early this week.

The Irish economy already was cooling before the international credit squeeze hit. House prices that have been impacted by low interest rates are easing, which indicates an impending crash will not occur, reports Ralph Atkins for the Financial Times. However, some analysts predict that the country will see a recession. The Fianna Fail prime minister countered the negative speculations on the economy by reminding everyone that the Irish economy has been growing at about 7% for the last 15 years. If the economy were to grow by only 4% next year, it wouldn’t mean economic despair.


The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.