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Five share tips for your new ISA

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23/06/2014
From 1 July, the annual tax-free ISA limit will be raised to £15,000, up from £11,880.

George Osborne announced the new ISA – or ‘NISA’ – limit in his 2014 Budget.

The Chancellor also offered savers complete flexibility over how they choose to save and invest within the overall limit. They can, for example, hold £15,000 in cash or invest the maximum amount in the stock market.

For those who decide to invest some or all of their allowance, Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, picks five stocks they may want to consider.

National Grid (FTSE 100) – low-risk option for income-seekers

National Grid overcame some regulatory issues in 2013 and is looking to invest roughly £26bn over the next seven years on its infrastructure. The management is also looking to improve the performance of its US operations. The UK political environment should be less significant for National Grid because of the relatively large amount of revenues it generates from the north eastern parts of the US.

For many portfolios, this stock would form part of a core set of holdings. It is especially suitable for investors looking for an option with some defensive qualities and pays a fairly attractive dividend yield, just above 5%, which the management intends to grow in line with the rate of inflation.

Unilever (FTSE 100) – low risk growth pick

Recent results showed Unilever beat estimates on revenue growth, as it maintains its drive to cut costs and invest in brands. Investors will be pleased to hear this news as management continues to make efforts to turn the business around.

The company is also seeing tentative signs of stabilisation in its European operations.

Long-term, Unilever looks attractive as it endeavours to recover costs, expand into emerging markets, improve supply chains and focus on profitable volume growth. It continues to deliver strong returns on capital employed in the business and grow its dividend. We believe the stock has attractions for those investors that want to build a long-term position in a quality global provider of home care and personal products.

Amec (FTSE 100) – balanced and medium-risk option

Unlike some of its competitors, Amec’s business is slightly more diversified with operations in areas such as mining, nuclear, electricity transmission and distribution, transportation and infrastructure.

While there may be some pessimism in the short term, the longer-term prospect for the industry is better. The company continues to build on its record order backlog and future growth should be helped by expansion into the emerging regions, along with strategic acquisitions and renewed economic optimism. This should flow through to more meaningful contract awards in the coming years. On a price-to-earnings basis, Amec looks undervalued compared with the peer group and its dividend yield near 3.5% is attractive.

Avingtrans (AIM) – high risk growth pick

Avingtrans is a small cap AIM stock that manufactures pipes for aircraft engines, along with blade polishing. With the order book standing at a record level, Avingtrans has clearly been a beneficiary of the booming aerospace industry.

This trend looks set to continue if the latest ten year contract, worth £55m with Rolls Royce, is anything to go by. The acquisitions that have been made, have contributed to the increase in revenue and confidence from management for the future.

Although the strength and focus of the group lies in civil aerospace, there are also signs of improvements being made in other areas of the business. This was highlighted earlier in the year with an improving potential pipeline of contracts for the Energy and Medical division. Given that the share price has risen by around 20% since our initial recommendation in October, we believe Avingtrans should continue to benefit from the still robust civil aerospace market. We recommend the company as a ‘buy’ for investors willing to take on a higher level of risk to offer growth to a portfolio.

Anpario (AIM) – high risk growth pick

Anpario, a tiny UK company, is trying to build a name for itself as an international producer of value-added natural feed additives in an industry where there is limited choice for investors. We recommend Anpario as a ‘buy’ for higher risk investors looking for a long term niche idea. The fact that such a small company already has a respectable geographical spread helps offset regional, financial and geopolitical concerns. The growing pressure on feeding the world’s population and demand for meat protein is unlikely to recede.

Anpario highlighted a good start to the year and its April results reported improving profits as a result of both organic growth and the 2012 acquisition of Meriden. The performance of the share price last year exceeded our expectations and we decided to take the group off the buy list at the start of January. The share price retreated and following the April results we are happy again to suggest investors build a holding.

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