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Barclays gets elemental

Barclays Private Clients is offering a high interest offshore savings account that is linked to the stockmarket.

The high interest index linked deposit account is aimed at investors looking for high interest and capital growth and the security of a capital protected investment.

The account has two elements — a high interest savings account and an index-linked account. Investors can place up to 40 per cent of their investment into the one-year fixed rate savings account element. It pays 8 per cent gross until October 10, 2002 and allows investors instant access. The rest goes into the stockmarket-linked element, which tracks one of two indices, depending on the currency denomination investors choose.

Investments in sterling will track the FTSE 100 until October 8, 2004 and investments in US dollars will track the Dow Jones Global Titans index, which consists of the 50 largest global companies including AOL Time Warner, Coca Cola and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.

Investors get 50 per cent of growth in their chosen index and their original capital is returned in full after three years however it performs. To calculate the final level of return, the average level of the index is taken during the last 12 months of the term and this is compared with the starting level.

The account would suit offshore investors who want to preserve their capital and have instant access to part of their investment. However, the final return of the index-linked element is capped at 50 per cent, which could be a drawback if the index performs well. This is the price investors pay for the guaranteed return of capital.

The Dow Jones Global Titans index fell from 216.42 points on August 3, 1998 to 208.93 points on August 3, 2001.

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