Sunday 17 November 2019

Noonan steers clear of Ireland with own money

Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: Collins
LITTLE FAITH: Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: Collins

Nick Webb

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has avoided Ireland when making his own personal investment decisions, according to the latest Register of Dail Members' interests published last week.

Mr Noonan, who spent last week trying to persuade European leaders to tweak the terms of the EU/IMF deal, has overhauled his investment portfolio over the last year.

The minister, who wisely off-loaded his stake in Anglo Irish Bank a year before the toxic bank was nationalised, has invested his money in foreign markets.

He now holds a rock-solid German government bond, which matures in 2020. It pays interest of just 1.75 per cent.

Ten-year Irish bonds have been shunned by the international markets and now pay interest rates of almost 10 per cent as investors fear a default. A week after the stress tests revealed that Irish banks need another €24bn in funds, it has emerged that Mr Noonan has put his own money into American banks, buying a US Banks exchange-traded fund.

He has also ploughed money into the US stock markets through a stake in a S&P 500 exchange-traded fund.

With gold and precious metals at record prices, the Limerick man has also invested in the SPDR Metals & Mining ETF.

The latest register of interests shows that Mr Noonan has also kept faith in British stockmarkets with a FTSE 100 ETF as well as investments in indian and Chinese funds.

He has also put money into European markets through a Eurostoxx 50 fund.

The Register of Interests also reveals that Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton holds shares in the bombed-out AIB and IL&P, as well as shares in the State-controlled Bank of Ireland and in FBD, CRH and Aryzta.

Fergus O'Dowd is also a CRH shareholder. Justice Minister Alan Shatter has declared a vast property portfolio, ranging from Florida to London and Smithfield.

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