Shares in Irish cement and building materials giant CRH sank by almost 3% - having been down by over 4% earlier - as investors failed to get excited about US President Donald Trump suggesting a $2trn spending package to repair America’s roads and other vital infrastructure.
Mr Trump’s plan would cover bridges, roads and other projects. However; support for the plan, its funding and the length of time it takes to become a reality are all concerns.
“Similar pronouncements have come to nothing, so it would be easy to dismiss this latest proposal,” said Davy analyst Robert Gardiner.
“These are exceptional times, however, so the probability of something getting done is clearly higher. CRH is heavily exposed to US highway construction, so stands out as an obvious beneficiary,” he said.
CRH is consistently singled out as a potential beneficiary from major international infrastructural stimulus programmes and said as recently as February – albeit before the Covid-19 crisis took full hold - that it sees itself as being “extremely well-placed” to profit from planned spending booms in the US and the UK.
It makes 60% of its total profits in the US and is the largest highway contract paver and largest asphalt producer for roads in the country.
Meanwhile, British construction materials group Breedon has welcomed the Irish Government’s wage subsidy scheme, saying it should ensure that those eligible amongst its near 300-strong workforce in the Republic continue to receive a proportion of their pay while not working. The group owns the Lagan surfacing and civil engineering company here.
In line with Government guidelines, Lagan has temporarily closed all of its production facilities except those serving health projects and critical road and utility infrastructure.