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BoI 0.33 0.01 more
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Glanbia 12.73 0.05 more
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ISEQ rises as ECB hints at easing

Thursday, May 08 17:48:18

The ISEQ powered ahead today as investors sought out bargains and as the ECB hinted that it might ramp up quantitative easing after June.

The index was up 76.45 points to 4,925.25.

The European Central Bank may consider fresh monetary policy measures at its June meeting following publication of updated economic forecasts by the bank's staff, ECB President Mario Draghi said today. "At the end of (today's) discussion I would say that the Governing Council is comfortable with acting next time but before we want to see the staff projections that will come out in early June," Draghi told a news conference after the ECB decided to keep its interest rates unchanged at 0.25 percent.

European stock markets rose after reassuring updates from top companies, such as the German supermarket chain Metro, and better-than-expected Chinese trade figures.

Glanbia shares were up 2c at E10.82. In March, Glanbia outlined a five-year ambition to grow organic adjusted EPS by 8-10pc per annum, constant currency. This signals its optimism on internal growth prospects, a factor that is also driving substantial internal investment (capex/depreciation running at c.4x for 2013-2015); plainly, Glanbia also retains scope to add to this via M and A, according to Davy Research.

The broker said that FBD continues to see good momentum in its two main UK businesses, James Hay (JH) and Saunderson House (SH). During 2013, IFG embarked on a three- to five-year strategic plan to substantially increase its investment in the business (in people, technology and operational capability) with a view to positioning JH to become a market leader in scale, product offering and client service in the UK platform arena. "Market growth estimates have been increased significantly in the aftermath of the recent UK budget, and a broadening of JH's product range - to offer a Modular ISA and a Modular GIA - leaves it better placed to compete as a broader retirement wealth planning operator. The AGM presentation confirms that JH has further increased new client activity versus 2013, the year when it achieved net book growth for the first time (a net new 2,163 SIPPs). The group confirms it is continuing to look at acquisition opportunities; these are likely to be bolt-on in nature," Davy said. FBD shares fell 7c to E17.15.