NatWest Unit Trust Management had started a differential pricing strategy in favour of direct busine...
NatWest Unit Trust Management had started a differential pricing strategy in favour of direct business just nine months after it launched into the intermediary market.
The bancassurance group had engineered a pilot marketing operation in April and May to offer a 2% initial discount on its equity funds and a 1% discount on its corporate bond fund, while IFA commission remained the same. This brought the initial charge down from 5.25% to 3.25% on the equity funds and to 3% for the corporate bond Pep.
TR European Growth (TREG) was also in the news this week as it was revealed that the cost of its bid for the £500m Kleinwort Benson European Privatisation trust would be borne by TREG's shareholders, even if the bid failed. The £184m trust intended to charge the impact of any costs, which could have reached £200,000, to the 5,000 TREG shareholders, regardless of the outcome.
According to a survey by Best Investment, overall returns to investors in BES property schemes would be less than their original gross investment. More than £3bn was raised between August 1988 and December 1993 and more than £600m was raised for companies where the return to investors depended on their actual performance. Best Investment said the main reason for the disappointing performance was a drop in property prices since investment.
Also this week, according to Britannia Investment Managers, an incoming Labour Government would likely benefit the fixed interest market, but would hit equities over the first months of its term. In an internal report to Britannia's asset allocation team, Peter Reid, head of UK equities at the company, predicted that bond and gilt markets may perform better than other UK securities.
Reid said: 'Shorter-dated bonds will initially suffer on concerns about the future direction of interest rates. However, this may be viewed by foreign investors as a buying opportunity. With Labour seen as being far more pro-European and pro-EMU than their Tory counterparts, many overseas investors could well see the election of a Labour administration as a positive move for gilts.'
According to the Reuters' global asset allocation survey, fund managers were raising their allocation to European equities, excluding the UK, and increasing cash in bond portfolios at the expense of non-core continental Europe and France. Its August report showed that the average global equity fund had increased its exposure to Germany from 4.1% in July to 55 in August, and from 3.7% to 4.2% in France.
Other European markets were increased from 11% in July to 12.4%.
More than £167,000 raised
Beware ‘temporary’ vulnerability
Partner Insight: A renewed focus on 'knowledge-intensive' companies should help investors realise that these entrepreneurial companies are found in sectors other than biotech or technology.
Celtic WM and Active Wealth