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Barclays Capital goes back to the land with aggie deal

Barclays Capital is offering an agriculture commodities structured product targeted at fund of fund managers and investors seeking an extra layer of diversification.

The GBP GSCI agriculture note is being marketed as a tool for multi-managers to diver- sify away from core commodities such as energy and precious metals by gaining exposure to wheat, corn, sugar, cotton, coffee and cocoa.

It will return 120 per cent of the rise in the GCSI Agriculture Excess Return index at the end of a five-year term. It also offers full capital protection unless the index falls by 40 per cent or more and fails to recover to the starting level by the end of the term. If this happens, capital will be reduced by the amount that the index has fallen.

The index has been in steady decline since the 1970s, with agriculture prices at a 35-year low, but Barclays Capital points to several factors that could reverse this trend. It says growing urbanisation and concurrent rises in income in China will lead to a greater demand for meat. The knock-on effect will mean more need for commodities such as corn to feed animals. Other drivers include climate change, which could lead to a wheat shortage that would push up prices.

Barclays head of asset management (UK investor solutions) Alex Robinson says: “It is difficult for fund of fund managers to again access to agriculture commodities. They can inv-est in individual stocks or poss- ibility the futures market but our note makes it is easier.”


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Software firm offers custom Hips for IFAs

Software company Docucorp is introducing a software pro- duct which enables advisers to produce customised home information packs. It is providing a fully compliant template for estate agents, mortgage intermediaries and conveyancers. Docucorp says firms can use its system to design documents, compile data and choose how the Hip looks. Users can make changes to […]

Award follows year of tragedy

Paradigm Norton financial planning manager Lin Ashurst overcame a year of tragedy to win the Woman IFA of the Year title. She received the Women’s Financial Adviser Group award just a year after her husband Robert’s death from cancer. Her boss, Norton Partners’ founder David Norton, also died from cancer just a few weeks later. […]

Investment trust discounts halved

Investment trust discounts have almost halved in the past two years and could be almost eliminated within 18 months, acc-ording to iimia investment guru Nick Greenwood. The average investment trust discount has fallen from 12.7 per cent at the end of January 2004 to 6.8 per cent because of a combination of strong performance from […]

William Littlewood “betting that QE won’t work”

Journalist Alexis Xydias interviews Artemis manager William Littlewood about his views on bond, equity and currency markets and the impact of a Greek exit from the EU. With bond yields at “ludicrous” levels, William believes a tipping point for bond markets is sure to come. As a result, his Strategic Assets Fund holds government bond shorts to the tune of 100 per […]


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