The new tax year heralds excitement aplenty for Stocks and Shares ISA investors. The reset of the £20,000 annual allowance, combined with the recent market sell-off, creates an ocean of exceptional investment opportunities.
As I recently explained, those seeking FTSE 250 bargains might be interested in snapping up B&M European Value Retail. It’s not the only cut-price corker I’m looking closely at buying today though. Another beauty from Britain’s second-tier share index I’m considering snapping up is Sabre Insurance Group (LSE: SBRE).
Life and non-life insurers are classic safe-haven plays in times of economic, political and social upheaval. This makes motor insurance specialist Sabre a brilliant buy as the coronavirus crisis continues.
And at current prices it looks particularly tasty. A low forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 15.2 times is decent, but might not look too special. But from a dividend perspective, Sabre makes some serious waves. Its yield for 2020 sits at a fatty 6.7%.
That’s not to say that Sabre hasn’t rung a few alarm bells on the dividend front. Last week it said it was deferring its decision to pay a supplementary reward for 2019 following the coronavirus outbreak.
This is no reason for possible buyers to panic though. The insurance play said that “Covid-19 is not currently expected to generate any significant adverse capital strain.” It’s decided to take a cautionary approach until the full impact of the crisis on its operations (and the wider economy) becomes apparent.
Sabre still felt confident enough to raise 2019’s final dividend by almost 20% year-on-year to 8.1p per share. Rising car insurance premiums give the business something to cheer for 2020 and 2021 despite pandemic-related tension. And the insurer’s strong balance sheet and mighty cash generation provide something else to celebrate. Its solvency ratio of 180% after dividends as of December soared past its target of 140% to 160%.
Another hero for your Stocks & Shares ISA
Sabre isn’t the only terrific defensive share to buy in these tough times. Having some exposure to gold is also a great idea for ISA investors and Centamin (LSE: CEY) is one great way to play this theme.
With dividends toppling like dominoes, this African metal producer seems like a particularly-intelligent buy. As the boffins over at Jefferies commented: “Against the backdrop of widespread dividend suspensions/reductions in other industries… Centamin should be considered a safer divi play.” The broker highlights that the FTSE 250 digger has no debt on its books and close to $400m in cash and liquid assets.
At recent prices Centamin carries a chunky 4.4% dividend yield for 2020. This isn’t the only reason why it packs a punch for value-hungry stock pickers though. It also trades on a forward P/E multiple of 12.9 times. Given the bright outlook for gold prices this year and potentially beyond, this provides a solid foundation for some meaty share price gains. I’d happily buy the gold play for my ISA and hold it for years.