NCB Stockbrokers says Ireland needs to have a fire sale of semi-state companies, selling off VHI, Coillte, Rosslare Port, Bord Gais and ESB.
Selling off state-run businesses is the key to Ireland’s economic recovery, says the stockbroker.
The report entitled Ireland Moves Forward (IMF – clever, eh?), published today by NCB stockbrokers says Ireland has endured a boom and bust of “epic proportions” and that the sale of state assets was a “certainty” even before the ECB-IMF bailout deal.
The firm says Voluntary Health Insurance, Rosslare Port and energy providers ESB and Bord Gáis should all be sold off.
Forestry assets, but not land, owned by Coillte should be sold, say the stockbrokers who estimate its non-land value at over €1.3 billion.
The firm also says the energy transmission networks should be sold off, starting with Bord Gáis Energy.
The report says other state assets, Dublin Airport Authority, the Irish Aviation Authority, Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, Dublin Port Company and An Post are less likely to be put on the chopping block in the immediate future.
The report also says sovereign debt restructuring cannot be ruled out as a last resort.
“Our central view is that Ireland will need EU help to raise funds and as a result be rolled into the permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Sovereign debt restructuring may form part of the ESM, but we see it as being a last resort after other efforts have been exhausted,” the report says.