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Thu, Aug. 14, 6:46 AM
- Euro-Zone GDP failed to grow in the second quarter following 12 months of weak growth, causing European equity markets to fall and increasing pressure on the ECB to do more to boost growth and inflation.
- Data released this morning by the European Union's statistics office translates into 0.2% growth in annualized terms, down from the first quarter's 0.8% pace.
- The euro zone's three largest economies, which account for two-thirds of the region's €9.6T ($12.8T) GDP, all did not post any growth. German GDP shrank 0.2% from the first quarter and Italy's output fell at a similar pace. The French economy, the bloc's second largest behind Germany, stagnated for a second straight quarter.
- The region's next largest economies, Spain and the Netherlands, posted some growth but not enough to offset their larger peers.
- ETFs: FXE, RSX, VGK, EUO, EWG, FEZ, GREK, EWP, EWI, DFE, RUSL, ERO, RSXJ, IEV, ERUS, RUSS, EWL, HEDJ, EU, EWU, EPV, EUFN, EZU, EWD, NORW, EWQ, EPOL, EIRL, PLND, RBL, EWO, DRR, GXF, FEU, EWN, GUR, EWK, EDEN, FDD, EWGS, FEP, ESR, UPV, EUFX, PGAL, ULE, IFEU, DBGR, ENOR, ADRU, EWUS, EUDG, DXGE, FEEU, GERJ, URR, FGM, EFNL, EURL, FKU, FSZ, DXPS, RUDR, EURZ, DBEU, QDEU, IEUR, FIEU, EUMV, HEWG, SMEZ, QESP, DBUK, QGBR
Mon, Jul. 28, 5:11 AM
- Ireland, one of the largest hubs for funds in Europe, will now allow hedge funds based in the country to lend to companies and even extend loans internationally.
- The new legislation drawn up by the Irish central bank reflects the growing "access to credit" problem in Europe, stirred by reduced European bank lending due to the financial crisis.
- ETFs: EIRL
Tue, Jun. 10, 7:29 AM
- “As I have written many times this year, this is not an investment strategy, but a job preservation strategy," writes Marc Ostwald of Monument Securities of the extraordinary move lower in EU periphery bond yields. "If these guys resist and bemoan poor credit quality, they will underperform their peers ... In the long run this is the road to the next crisis and ruination.”
- While the sovereign 10-year yields of Ireland and Spain have fallen below that of the U.S. (and Italy is close), they're still well above the 1.33% of Germany, so European fund managers can goose performance by continuing to buy the PIGS. Dancing while the music plays is ICAP's Phil Tyson: “I think that the bond market could go higher in the short term as the search for yield continues in an environment where ECB rate expectations are anchored with forward guidance having been strengthened."
- ETFs of interest: EWP, EWI, EIRL, GREK
Fri, Jun. 6, 2:28 PM
- Upgrading Ireland's sovereign debt rating to A- fro BBB+, S&P writes: "The upgrade reflects our view of the brightening prospects for Ireland's domestic economy, which we expect to underpin further improvements in the government's financial profile, capital markets access, and financial system asset quality."
- The agency gives a one-in-three chance of another upgrade in the next two years.
- Bond markets long ago upgraded Ireland, and the yield on its 10-year paper at 2.45% trades below that of the U.S. Interesting times.
- ETFs: EIRL
- CEFs: IRL
Thu, Jun. 5, 7:55 AM
- The Stoxx 50 (FEZ) is up 0.8% after being about flat ahead of the ECB rate decision, at which the central bank cut all three of its benchmark rates, including taking the deposit facility rate into negative territory.
- Italy (EWI) with a 1.3% gain and France (EWQ) ahead 1% lead the way.
- The euro (FXE) tumbles about 40 pips, now off 0.3% on the session and buying $1.3563.
- Europe equity ETFs: RSX, VGK, EWG, FEZ, GREK, EWP, EWI, DFE, RUSL, IEV, RSXJ, EWL, ERUS, EWU, RUSS, EPV, EZU, EWD, HEDJ, NORW, EWQ, EPOL, EIRL, PLND, EWO, RBL, GXF, EWN, FEU, EWK, FDD, EWGS, FEP, EDEN, UPV, EWUS, DBGR, PGAL, ADRU, ENOR, GERJ, DXGE, FEEU, FGM, EURL, FKU, EFNL, EUDG, DXPS, FSZ, EURZ, FIEU, RUDR, DBEU, HEWG, DBUK
- Euro ETFs: FXE, EUO, ERO, DRR, EUFX, ULE, URR
- ECB chief Mario Draghi's press conference begins at 8:30 ET.
Thu, Mar. 13, 12:29 PM
- It's first bond auction since September 2010, Ireland sold 10-year notes priced to yield 2.967%, the lowest on record for 10-year paper. Ten-year U.S. Treasury notes at 2.66% yield only 30 basis points less!
- The country's National Treasury Management Agency did raise 10-year money in January, but that was through banks, rather than an auction.
- ETFs: EIRL
Mon, Jan. 20, 7:15 AM
- Yields on Irish five-year bonds drop 17 bps to 1.63% after Moody's increased the country's debt rating to investment-grade status of Baa3/P-3 from Ba1/NP on Friday.
- Moody's, which also gave Ireland a positive outlook, cited two main reasons for its action: Ireland's growth potential, which should bring down debt ratios, and the country's exit from its international bailout.
- At one point, Ireland's bond yield was below that for U.S. five-year paper.
- ETF: EIRL
Tue, Jan. 7, 4:44 AM
- Ireland's first bond sale since exiting its EU bailout appears set to be a blockbuster, with the government reportedly receiving indications of interest worth €9B for the planned sale of €3B in 10-year debt.
- The demand has caused the yield on existing 10-year paper to drop 8 bps to an eight-year low of 3.27% compared with a peak of 15% in 2011.
- Based on early orders, the new notes will carry interest of 3.55%.
- ETFs: BWX, BNDX, EIRL, IGOV, BWZ, ISHG
Mon, Jan. 6, 9:43 AM| Comment!
Dec. 13, 2013, 7:31 AM
- "This isn’t the end of the road," says finance minister Michael Noonan as Ireland becomes the first EU state to officially exit its rescue program. "This is a very significant milestone on the road."
- The economy is forecast to grow about 2% next year and unemployment is below 13% after rising above 15% in 2012. Noonan pledges to keep the screws down on fiscal discipline, but also makes noises about a tax cut sometime in the next two years.
- Irish stocks are up marginally on the session; EIRL is up 37.7% YTD.
Dec. 9, 2013, 3:02 PM
- Previously beaten down values and tech describe this year's list of best-performing single country ETFs. Numbers 5&6 are the iShares MSCI Finland Capped ETF (EFNL) and the iShares MSCI Denmark Capped ETF (EDEN), each up about 35%.
- Keeping with the beaten down theme are numbers 4&2 - both Japan funds hedged against shifts in the value of the yen, WisdomTree's DXJ and Deutsche's DBJP, up 38% and 44% respectively. Number 3 comes from another left-for-dead market, the iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF (EIRL).
- Leading the list is PowerShares' Golden Dragon China ETF (PGJ), which holds China N-Shares - U.S.-listed Chinese firms, i.e, tech, i.e., Internet. It's up 58% YTD.
Dec. 4, 2013, 3:41 AM
- The Irish government is exiting Bank of Ireland, which it bailed out during the financial crisis, by selling €1.3B of preferred shares to investors and another €537M to the bank.
- BOI is offering €580M worth of stock to help finance its purchase of the government's holding.
- Overall, the government expects to have recovered €5.9B from its rescue of BOI, representing a handy profit on the €4.8B that was provided.
- "This transaction will build further confidence in Ireland’s recovery and will strengthen Ireland's return to normal market funding," said Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
- ETF: EIRL
Nov. 27, 2013, 3:53 PM
- Never mind a 40% gain YTD, the iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF (EIRL) is getting a new underlying index thanks to the shrinking number of eligible stocks trading in Dublin. With more investors and liquidity in London and NYC, the Irish stock exchange has lost a number of key listings over the last few years, bringing the number of stocks in EIRL's tracked index to just 14.
- The new index leaves a bit more wiggle room, including companies doing significant business in Ireland, along with those domiciled there, resulting in 24 constituents.
- The closed-end New Ireland Fund (IRL) is ahead 35% YTD.
Nov. 7, 2013, 5:10 AM
- The Troika is due to approve the final funds of Ireland's €85B ($114B) bailout later today, which would allow the country to become the first to exit its rescue process, a move it could make by the end of the year.
- A question remains over whether Ireland will request a precautionary credit line when the bailout ends. The government has indicated that it may not, as it has enough funding to take it to 2015. It's also worth noting that debt yields are at 3.5%.
- Still, Ireland continues to have big problems, while there's also concerns about the health of its banks.
- ETFs: EIRL, IRL
Oct. 13, 2013, 2:29 AM
- Ireland is set to become the first eurozone country to exit a bailout program, with Prime Minister Enda Kenny saying that the nation will leave its €85B scheme on December 15.
- Ireland may exit without the insurance policy of a precautionary credit line, which would stop the country from obtaining funds from the European Central Bank's Outright Monetary Transactions program of government bond purchases, but would also reduce the the conditions involved and the close monitoring from EU officials.
- ETFs: EIRL, IRL
- Bank of Ireland: IRE
Oct. 12, 2013, 9:03 PM
- "All indicators are pointing to signs of life in the economy," Portugal's new Finance Minister Maria Luis Albuquerque said, in her first media interview.
- Portugal may seek to borrow more money in the next few months "through an existing bond program [or by swapping] an existing bond for another with a longer maturity."
- Albuquerque also said that although the country will likely not issue a new bond before the beginning of next year, Portugal is looking to regain full market access by mid-2014.
- The country is expected to be the second bailed-out nation to return to the debt market after Ireland, marking a major milestone in the eurozone periphery's attempt to dig itself out of a crippling debt crisis.
- Portugal is fully funded for 2013.
- Periphery ETFs - EWP, EWI, GREK, EIRL
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The iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to track the investment results of a broad-based index composed of Irish equities, 'MSCI All Ireland Capped Index'.
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