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Re: Bank of Ireland
Posted by: vgm (IP Logged)
Date: February 28, 2014 07:16PM

"Finally, jobs news worth shouting from the rooftops"

[www.independent.ie]

More good news out of Ireland.



Stocks Discussed: IRE,
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Re: Bank of Ireland
Posted by: vgm (IP Logged)
Date: March 3, 2014 11:48AM

Excellent earnings report from Bank of Ireland this morning:

[seekingalpha.com]



Stocks Discussed: IRE,
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Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes)



Re: Bank of Ireland
Posted by: vgm (IP Logged)
Date: March 4, 2014 07:36AM

Wilbur Ross (Trades, Portfolio) and Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio) selling a fraction of Bank of Ireland stake to institutional investors:

[www.bloomberg.com]



Stocks Discussed: IRE,
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Bank of Ireland
Posted by: AlbertaSunwapta (IP Logged)
Date: March 4, 2014 09:23AM

VGM, in several papers there were very negative coments and even editorials on the bank actions and austerity programs. Having come from Alberta where we've seen a dramatic recession and housing collpase, bank failures and austerity programs I've lived through such reporting. While large banks in most locales are pretty much immune to criticsm and even modest consumer biased legislation, Ireland is slightly different due to its small economy, worsening net out migration, the world's highest penetration of credit unions and a number of other factors that can lessen the Bank of Ireland's moat. Just as the earlier reporting that anyone can buy a summer home in Spain or Portugul, such reporting acts as a canary in a coal mine. Most reporting and even opn the street protesting has zero impact on a country's major banks but one would want to at least keep an eye on the horizon.

Note in the excerpts below, that while Fairfax (which I own) likes the company, it is "rebalancing". In my view that means that either concentrated investing has its limits in Watsa's mind, or Watsa has found a more attractive use for the funds. Either way, it's taking profits due to price appreciation.

Wilbur Ross (Trades, Portfolio) and Fairfax to sell 6 pct of Bank of Ireland

Mar 4, 2014

excerpt:

"Bank of Ireland has been one of our most successful investments," Watsa told Reuters in an interview.

"Because of the significant appreciation, we are rebalancing our position. The position had become very significant (in terms of our overall portfolio)."

"We remain strong supporters of (chief executive) Richie Boucher and Bank of Ireland... Bank of Ireland will benefit from the ongoing recovery of Ireland and we have no intention to sell any more of our stake. We are long term investors."

[www.reuters.com]



Stocks Discussed: IRE,
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Re: Bank of Ireland
Posted by: vgm (IP Logged)
Date: March 4, 2014 03:09PM

AS -- Hmmm, not sure what, if anything, is new in what you wrote. As I've pointed out before, it's no secret that people and communities got hurt in the recession. And some are recovering faster than others. Sorry to hear that yours in Alberta struggled so badly.

But I think you're confusing Main St with Wall St - and assuming unsubstantiated parallels between Alberta and Ireland. Economies have struggled since 2008/9, but markets and stocks have done brilliantly. And again to repeat, Ireland took its medicine early and is the beneficiary of that. Watsa and Ross have talked repeatedly about this - and Prem mentions the "ongoing recovery of Ireland" in the quotation you gave! They both know Ireland far better than you or me.

My post above mentioned that they both sold a fraction of their BoI shares after huge appreciation. No surprise, in fact I've been expecting at least Wilbur to do it. It's his way. I'm sure they have lots of alternatives for capital allocation. Prem recently started to invest in Greece, and Wilbur in Spain. No shortage of bargains there, assuming you know what you're doing. And I'm sure you'll not fail to realize that both those southern European countries are far from out of recession - yet are investable even for the risk-averse Watsa.

The fact that they are retaining ca 70% of their stake in BoI, coupled with Prem's statement that "Bank of Ireland will benefit from the ongoing recovery of Ireland and we have no intention to sell any more of our stake. We are long term investors." represents a pretty darned positive outlook for the Bank. That coincides with my own view, and substantially boosts it. I was fortunate to get in at an even lower price than those two wonderful investors and have made 4x from a large base. It continues to represent good value to me, despite the appreciation.



Stocks Discussed: IRE,
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Rating: 3.5/5 (2 votes)



Re: Bank of Ireland
Posted by: vgm (IP Logged)
Date: March 7, 2014 07:30AM

Wilbur Ross (Trades, Portfolio) discusses Bank of Ireland:

[www.gurufocus.com]



Stocks Discussed: IRE,
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Re: Bank of Ireland
Posted by: vgm (IP Logged)
Date: March 8, 2014 04:17PM

Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio)'s commentary on Ireland and Bank of Ireland from the new 2013 Fairfax annual letter (p9/10):

"It is amazing to witness the transformation that has taken place in Ireland. In 2011, when we made our investment in the Bank of Ireland at 10 euro cents per share, 10-year Government of Ireland rates were 12%, housing prices had come down 40% and sentiment was bleak. Since then, 10-year Government of Ireland rates have dropped to 3.1%, house prices have bottomed out and have begun to rise, Ireland has access to the bond markets again and capital is flooding into Ireland! Under Richie Boucher’s strong leadership, the Bank of Ireland continues to do well as it recently refinanced its government-owned A1.8 billion preferred by doing a A580 million equity issue at 26 euro cents per share and selling the rest into the marketplace. Also, it did a A750 million unsecured five-year bond financing at 3.34%! The Irish Government has now had all its loans to the Bank of Ireland paid back and its 13.95% ownership of the common stock is in a sizeable profit position. We thank the Irish Government for its exceptional support of the Bank of Ireland and look forward to the Bank’s continued progress under Richie’s leadership.

As this letter went to print, because of the significant appreciation in our position in the Bank of Ireland, we rebalanced that position by selling a third of it at approximately 33 euro cents per share. The Bank of Ireland has been one of our most successful investments because of the outstanding performance of Richie and his management team. We continue to be strong supporters of Richie and the Bank of Ireland."

[www.fairfax.ca]



Stocks Discussed: IRE,
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