First State Investments is aiming to raise up to £20m for its Aim VCT, a venture capital trust which invests in the Alternative Investment Market.The management team for the VCT is led by First State head of UK equities Paul Jourdan, who runs the First State British smaller companies fund. This fund, which contains Aim-listed holdings, was established in 1998 and has invested more than £15m in Aim investments over the past three years. Jourdan and senior analyst Mikhail Zverev will look for Aim companies that are well financed, well managed and where earnings’ growth looks likely to grow faster than the economy. One issue for Jourdan is that VCT rules state that at least 70 per cent of the money raised must be invested in qualifying holdings during the first three years. Jourdan believes this restricts the ability to diversify and manage risk, making it difficult to change the portfolio in line with market conditions, especially as Aim companies can lack liquidity. This VCT will aim to meet these challenges by using the non-qualifying holdings as a means of balancing the portfolio. Nonqualifying holdings may include direct equities, government bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds and money market funds. Derivatives will also be used to offset the risk from equities. An Aim VCT such as this could be well placed to take advantage of current demands for VCTs. Research from the Noble Group found that when asked to select which type of VCT will be most popular this year, 50 per cent of IFAs surveyed chose Aim VCTs, 40 per cent chose generalist and 10 per cent said specialist. However, the study found that over half the IFAs surveyed were increasingly confused by the number of VCTs on offer, so another Aim VCT may overcrowd the market.
GE Life has launched a deferred executive drawdown section 32 plan to enable people whose tax free lump sum entitlement is greater than 25% to preserve their additional entitlement post A day. The plan allows individuals to drawdown without having to transfer funds, effectively protecting the tax-free lump sum entitlement.
Accepted knowledge of what is possible under the new pension tax rules is still very much a moving feast. This is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future.
As HBOS continues its dominance in lending, a competitor could be lurking with the Royal Bank of Scotland looking to take a bigger slice of the mortgage market.
Thousands of investors in the Eurolife secured bond are being asked to vote on a partial repayment plan to recoup some of the £17m losses. Around 2,300 investors should have been repaid capital on January 23 but have had to wait three weeks for news of the restructuring proposal. The proposal issued by Eurolife involves […]
By Kunal Desai, Neptune India Fund
As global investors continue to scour emerging markets through the lens of reform potential, India shines bright. Indeed, we think it can sparkle even brighter. We anticipate India’s self-imposed 10-year ‘policy holiday’ to turn into one of the most pro-growth and pro-investment policy calendars seen in Asia in years. The Indian electorate has engineered a historic verdict. We now have the strongest Indian government since 1984, with the pro-market Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) achieving an absolute majority for the first time in the party’s history.
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