A summary of products and services launched or substantially changed and reported in this issue
BNP Paribas Asset Management
Product: Parvest Japan fund
Description: A Luxembourg- domiciled Japan fund that will invest in mid-cap growth stocks. It will be managed by Sparx Asset Management. The portfolio will be relatively concentrated and comprise of between 50 to 70 stocks considered undervalued given their earnings prospects. It will be benchmarked to the Russell Nomura Mid Cap.
Close Finsbury Asset Management
Product: Close Finsbury Continental European Equity fund
Description: An income share class has been launched on the Close Finsbury Continental European Equity fund, which is expected to yield around 2.2%. A 1% discount on the initial charge will also apply. Charles Glasse and Christopher Garsten of 2CG are both investment advisers to the fund. The product primarily invests in large-cap companies across Europe and holds up to 40 stocks focusing on undervalued stocks with a bias to special situations.
Close Finsbury Asset Management
Product: Close Finsbury Far East Equity fund
Description: A 1% discount on the initial charge on all investments made into the Close Finsbury Far East Equity. The fund advised by Stephen Swift of Jade Absolute, aims to maximise total return over the longer term from a portfolio of equities quoted on stock markets in the Far East, excluding Japan.
Product: Property fund
Description: A closed-end property fund investing in major urban centres in Turkey, Romania, Ukraine and Bulgaria with a target annual dividend, once fully invested, of at least 7.5%. Keiran Gallagher and Oliver Cadogan are to be investment advisers to the fund. It will invest in a range of office, retail, industrial and residential properties in the target countries and aims to be fully invested within 12 to 18 months.
Scottish Equitable International
Product: Wealth Management Portfolio
Description: The portfolio replaces its existing investment, money markets and private client portfolios. The product is separated into three categories, which included the Portfolio Fund, Preferential Range and Universal Range. The Portfolio fund has a reduced annual management charge of 0.6%, while the Preferential Range will pay a rebate to customers and has access to 900 funds from 29 managers. The Universal Range covers areas where the Portfolio and Preferential Funds do not, as well as paying a rebate to the customer.
Bank of Ireland and Bristol & West International
Product: International Guaranteed Equity Bond
Description: A guaranteed equity bond that invests in the FTSE 100, Nikkei 225, Standard & Poor's 500 and the Swiss Market index. The International Guaranteed Equity Bond has a minimum investment of £5,000. It is only available for a limited time period and will close on 5 April 2006.
Bank of Scotland International
Product: Guaranteed Bond
Description: A guaranteed bond linked to the stock markets of the Far East, Europe and the UK. The bond offers clients 10% fixed interest return after 12 months on half the investment. There will be a dollar and sterling version of the product. The minimum investment for the sterling version is £10,000, while for the dollar version it is $20,000. The start date of the bond is 27 April 2006. Michael Chaytor, head of retail sales and service at Bank of Scotland International, said the product invested 50% of the customer's capital for one year at a fixed rate of 10%, with the remaining 50% invested over five years.
Product: Yorkshire Guernsey Business 15 Offshore Deposit Account
Description: Offshore business account that offers an interest rate of 4.75%. This account pays depositors a higher rate of interest for giving advance notice of withdrawals. If 15 days notice is given before a withdrawal, access to funds can be made after this period without any loss of interest. There is a minimum investment of £100,000 and minimum transaction of £10,000. All interest is paid annually on 31 April.
Old Mutual Asset Managers
Product: Global Sector Opportunities fund
Description: A global equity long/short hedge fund that will be managed by OMAM's quantitative strategies team. It will trade globally in liquid stocks in developed markets, using a proprietary quantitative model to compare stocks within the same sector across regions in order to exploit pricing inefficiencies. The fund will typically contain between 200 and 300 stocks selected from the MSCI World Enhanced index of over 3,200 stocks, which covers over 90% of global market capitalisation within the major developed markets of the US and Canada, UK, Europe, Japan and Asia (Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore).
Product: Schroder ISF Bric fund
Description: A fund that will invest in Brazil, Russia, India and China. It will be managed by Allan Conway and Waj Hashmi. The product will invest in small to medium-sized companies that may be rarely covered by other analysts. The fund uses the MSCI EM BRIC index as its benchmark. There are around 30-60 stocks in the portfolio.
London Central Portfolio
Product: London Central Portfolio Property fund
Description: A fund that will invest in the residential areas of Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Marylebone and South Kensington. Its target size is £20m, with plans to acquire a portfolio of approximately 25 two-bedroom properties in those London areas. It will be a closed end Guernsey-domiciled product that will run for eight years. The minimum investment is £100,000. It will target HNW investors both in the UK and abroad.
Norwich Union International
Product: Collective investment schemes for the expatriate European market
Description: NUI is planning to launch multi-manager or fund of funds-style product for the Spanish market. Paul Sherlin, marketing director at NUI, said:"We are looking at what we can do outside the UK. We are trying to work with other Aviva companies to see if there is a way we can target this client base where there is a duel interest."
Product: Global Emerging Markets 80% Protected Portfolio fund
Description: An emerging markets fund of funds that invests in six equally-weighted products and has the ability to go to cash in cases of market volatility. 100% of an investor's cash is allocated to the under-lying funds and on a daily basis 80% of profits are locked in.
Product: Ascentric wrap platform
Description: The wrap platform will be available in SEI, Axa International and FPI offshore bond ranges. It consists of 1,400 funds from 80 different groups. This will be a mix of cash and collective investment products. Intermediaries will receive shares in the company for introducing clients.
Lasting power of attorney
Three risk profiles
Caused by falling oil price
Roger Marsden takes over on interim basis
Will face 'appropriate action'