Tuesday 24 October 2017

Noonan's private punts beat State fund managers

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has played a stormer with his own personal investments far outperforming the State's own fund managers.

The Fine Gael politician has seen double digit returns from private punts on US banks, the FTSE 100 market and the Dow Jones Industrial index.

Mr Noonan's submission to the Oireachtas Register of Members' Interests shows that he owned shares worth over €13,000 in the SPDR KBW US Banks exchange traded fund (ETF). This has risen 23.4 per cent over the last year.

Mr Noonan also listed an investment in the iShares FTSE 100 ETF, which has risen by 15.38 per cent over the last 12 months. Another stake in the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF has risen by 12.5 per cent – more than four times the return offered by the best savings account in an Irish bank.

Mr Noonan's investments have been far more profitable than those overseen by the highly-paid managers at the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF). Last year, the NPRF only managed to produce a return of 7.3 per cent on its discretionary fund, which excludes the stakes in Bank of Ireland and AIB.

Other politicians also gained from rising stock markets, with leftie TD Clare Daly seeing a near 50 per cent rise in the value of her 17,000 Aer Lingus shares to €22,100 over the last 12 months.

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton may have taken a bath on his shares in Irish Life & Permanent but has seen strong performances from a portfolio including Aryzta, CRH, Smurfit, FBD, Kingspan and Bank of Ireland. Pascal Donohue holds shares in Procter & Gamble and Guinness-brewer Diageo.

There are also plenty of property owners including Dublin TD Terence Flanagan who described a share of a house in Blanchardstown as being in "huge negative equity". Health Minister James Reilly listed nine properties. Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan listed an interest in 10 properties ranging from Bankso in Bulgaria and Budapest in Hungary to Boyle, Co Roscommon. Michael Healy-Rae listed 14 properties. He also gave details of his involvement with three state contracts, including maintenance work and fuel supply deals with the HSE and Kerry County Council.

Irish Independent

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