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Stock Strategist

Has the Luck of the Irish Run Out?

We check in on the Emerald Isle's economy and some of its biggest companies.

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Some people's idea of investing in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day may begin and end with Guinness (produced by spirits giant  Diageo (DEO)). But the landscape for investing in Ireland today has more to do with the credit crisis, biotech firms, and multinationals lured by low-tax rates then it does with a knocking back a beer.

Ireland was for years the case study for the success of globalization, the euro, the European Union, and light taxation. After years of sluggish growth and falling behind the growth of the rest of Europe, by the mid-90s Ireland was beginning to catch up. The stability and low interest rates of the euro, easy access to the common European market, and very low corporate tax rates attracted scores of multinational companies and local startups. This surge of production helped increase Irish gross domestic product by high-single-digit/low-double-digit rates for years, a good deal higher than those of continental Europe.

Jeremy Glaser does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.