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17 March 2017

Three funds that invest in Ireland for St Paddy's Day

By Darius McDermott, Managing Director

We love a good party here at FundCalibre and if there’s a national day to celebrate, you can always count us in!! So we had our three funds for Australia Day back in January, and our China funds for the Chinese New Year, and today we’re looking at three funds that invest in Ireland.

While Guinness Global Equity Income sounds like it might fit the bill, alas the fund group has no relationship with the other, better-known Guinness – of which we’re sure to be seeing more later today!

Never fear though!! Within our Elite Rated European equity funds, we’ve found three whose holdings include an overweight to Ireland.

GAM Star Continental European Equity

Run by a manager named Niall Gallagher, how could GAM Star Continental European Equity not have a significant weighting to Ireland? Niall buys stocks that are either out-of-favour or where he believes growth prospects are not fully reflected in the price and currently invests about 15.5% of the fund in Ireland.

That said, he is always keen to point out that his Irish roots are not the reason for his Irish holdings and has said on the matter:

“These stocks met our criteria of being well-managed and having low debt levels, and they did come out of the crisis stronger than before – perhaps a reflection of being domiciled in God’s own country.”

The fund has returned 120% since Niall began managing it in 2009 – versus European market returns of 73%1. The luck of the Irish? We’d say Niall’s stock picking skills may be more to thank!

Jupiter European

Jupiter European has a 4.8% holding in Ireland – and that’s all in the one stock, RyanAir, which is currently the 7th largest investment in the portfolio. Manager Alexander Darwall may not be Irish, but he certainly has the gift of the gab and talks to a lot of company managers before making his investment decisions.

Alexander has developed a real aptitude for recognising patterns of success in company business plans and management teams. He’s also a patient and value-aware investor and has delivered returns of 362%—over 200% more than the index—in the 15 years he has managed the fund2.

BlackRock European Dynamic

BlackRock European Dynamic invests in companies of all shapes and sizes across Europe and currently has roughly 4.5% in Ireland. Companies are chosen based on their likelihood of long-term earnings and growth power that is greater than that of the market. Manager Alister Hibbert also likes stocks that he thinks are undervalued.

While, as far as we know, Alister doesn’t have any hidden musical talents, he could be forgiven for dancing a jig or two when looking at his fund’s past performance. Under his tenure since 2008, the fund has delivered just over 200%, while its benchmark index has returned 80%3.

Where to next?

Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. You may not get back the amount originally invested, and tax rules can change over time. Darius's views are his own and do not constitute financial advice.

1 FE Analytics, GAM Star Continental European Equity vs MSCI Europe Ex UK, TR in GBP, 01/12/2009–15/03/2017
2 FE Analytics, Jupiter European vs FTSE World Europe Ex UK, TR in GBP, 01/01/2001–15/03/2017
3 FE Analytics, BlackRock European Dynamic vs FTSE World Europe Ex UK, TR in GBP, 29/02/2008–15/03/2017

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