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Bond bid wins backing

Cofunds’ calls for the Government to allow investors to transfer funds between investment bonds without suffering a tax hit has received backing from several major platforms.

The firm is linking up with the Tax Incentivised Savings Association to lobby HM Revenue & Customs to allow tax-exempt transfers between bonds. Tax-exempt transfers are already allowed with Isas and pensions.

The move follows the news that leading platform providers will allow advisers to bulk re-register in specie transfers of other assets as early as 2008.

Cofunds says it is working with other members of the UK Platform Group, including Fidelity FundsNetwork, Standard Life and Selestia, to have bulk re-registration operating and several of these platforms have come out in favour of lobbying the Government to change bond tax treatment.

FundsNetwork head of sales and marketing Rob Fisher says investors should be able to move investments without fear of tax reprisals.

Skandia Life head of marketing Billy Mackay agrees but adds: “Where it does become a little bit more problematic is that a huge proportion of investment bond cash is in old with-profits policies and the vast majority of these have market value reductions so, when you get into the details, tax is only one issue of moving money between these vehicles.”

Nucleus chief executive David Ferguson is delighted with the drive towards re-registration.

He says: “It is exactly what we have been saying for the last year since we started and roll on the same initiative with pension transfers.”

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Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.

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