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3 cheap UK shares (including 2 penny stocks) I’d buy for 2022!

British bank notes and coins

Ready to go shopping in the New Year Sales? Here are three cheap UK shares (including two top penny stocks) I’m thinking of buying for 2022.

Gas giant

The hydrogen fuel cell market could be set for spectacular growth as demand for low-carbon energy rises. I’m thinking of buying shares in Proton Motor Power Systems (LSE: PPS), the manufacturer of stationary power units as well as fuel cells for cars, boats and trains, to realise these opportunities.

Analysts at have estimated that the global hydrogen fuel cell market could be worth $16.5bn by 2025. That’s up considerably from the $3.9bn it’s currently valued at. Promisingly, Proton continues to rack up contract wins and last month announced that a subsidiary of German rail operator Deutsche Bahn had ordered one of its modular fuel cell systems.

I think Proton could be a top buy for 2022 and beyond. Though I am mindful that the business still faces colossal competition from manufacturers of familiar power technologies like internal combustion engines and wind turbines.

Brogue trader

Soaring inflation means that value for money will become increasingly important to shoppers in 2022. This is why I’m thinking of buying Shoe Zone (LSE: SHOE) for my investment portfolio. This retailer sells a wide range of footwear at cheaper prices than much of the high street (an average of £10 a pair).

Shoe Zone already has a head of steam heading into the new year as inflation pressures consumer confidence. Last month it hiked its profits forecasts for the financial year to September 2022. I don’t just think the low-cost retailer is simply a good buy for the near term however. Studies show that the importance of value to shoppers has grown strongly even before recent economic downturns.

My main concern for Shoe Zone is the prospect of Covid-19 lockdowns that could shutter its 400-odd stores. The retailer sources just a quarter of group revenues from its website. Shoe Zone trades just outside penny stock territory at around 105p per share.

Ground control

I think Van Elle Holdings (LSE: VANL) is set to ride the construction boom in Britain. As a provider of ground engineering services for housebuilders, it’s in pole position to benefit from the residential building boom. The UK needs to build 345,000 new homes a year, according to estimates, and Britain’s housebuilders are ramping up production to ease the shortfall.

Furthermore, Van Elle offers geotechnical expertise in rail, utilities, roads, airports and power generation projects (including renewable energy assets), as well as other types of essential infrastructure. Its knowledge in critical projects like these provides a layer of security to investors. It can expect demand for its services to remain stable, regardless of broader economic conditions.

A high-profile service failure is a constant operational risk facing Van Elle. It could have serious implications for profits and cause severe damage to the company’s business. Having said that, it’s my opinion that this penny stock remains highly attractive from a risk/reward perspective.

The post 3 cheap UK shares (including 2 penny stocks) I’d buy for 2022! appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.