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Irish stockbrokers direct clients to ‘boring’ firms

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Who in their right minds would be getting into the stock market right now? Last week, sticking their necks out, Irish financial experts sought to find stocks that the canny Irish investor might still want to consider.

Aberdeen Asset Management’s Ivan Murphy selected Arnotts and Greencore as his “safest” stocks on the Irish market. Murphy said that investors were most interested in “boring,” or safe companies right now, such as the Bank of Ireland and the Kerry Group.

Elan’s collapse after a Wall Street Journal article, and the Enron and WorldCom scandals, have had a noticeable affect on Irish investors, with many people seeking to avoid any company with significant debts.

Murphy added JurysDoyle to his list, although he stressed the current weakness of the tourism market in the U.S.

Examine a company’s conversion of profits into cash, Adrian O’Carroll of Merrion Stockbrokers told reporters. A good level of conversion indicates a safe investment, he said, recommending CRH.

Goodbody’s Colin Hunt said Grafton Group was a safe bet, because of its track record of keeping clean and open accounting, and the quality of its management. Hunt also said that food stocks were always a refuge during stormy stock market times.

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Construction group McInerney Holdings was picked by Dolmen Butler Briscoe’s Stuart Draper, who suggested that the market for new housing in Ireland and England is still strong. Draper also plugged JurysDoyle.

Overall, analysts seemed to agree that the boring stocks represent a safe haven, and Kerry Group was the most obvious example they came up with.

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