ETF Analyst of Zacks Investment Research Sweta Killa highlights: Looking for some green on St Patrick's Day? Consider this

 ETF Analyst of Zacks Investment Research Sweta Killa highlights: Looking for
          some green on St Patrick's Day? Consider this Ireland ETF

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, March 17, 2014

CHICAGO, March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Securities in this article include:
iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF (AMEX:EIRL-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc.,

Buy the Ireland ETF for a Green Portfolio on St. Patrick's Day written by
Sweta Killa of Zacks Investment Research:

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 ETF.

Bright Outlook

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 (AMEX:EIRL-Free Report) – 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).

Bottom Line

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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Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research
may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions
in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment
advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or
short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

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Eric Dutram

ETF Product Manager

Zacks Investment Research



SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

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