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Generating investment

Merrill Lynch Investment Managers is getting plugged into the world of

heat, light and water with the world utilities fund.

Based in Luxemburg, world utilities is a Sicav aimed at investors looking

for a low to medium-risk fund. It will invest in companies that supply

electricity, water and gas. It will also target companies that are involved

in new energy technologies such as wind power, solar energy, coastal

barrages and small microturbines.

Half the fund will invest in the US, with 20 per cent in Europe, 20 per

cent in Asia and 10 per cent in Latin America.

The fund will be managed by Walter Rogers in New York. He joined Merrill

Lynch in 1987 and has been managing the Merrill Lynch utilities and

telecommunications fund since 1990.

Deregulation is affecting utility companies all over the world as

governments loosen their grip on the energy and water sectors. Utilities

can be a safer investment during times of market volatility as they tend to

be driven by increasing demand and by internal developments such as mergers

of utilities providers. But recent events such as power blackouts in

California have shown that deregulation can go too far and may represent

too big a risk for some investors.

According to Standard & Poor&#39s the Merrill Lynch energy fund is ranked

fourth out of five funds in its sector, based on £1,000 invested on a

bid-to-bid basis with gross income reinvested over three years to April 16,



Marsden fixes for three years

Marsden Building Society has brought in the three-year fixed rate mortgage.Aimed at first time buyers and people looking to remortgage their homes, the mortgage has a fixed rate of 5.45 per cent for loans of up to 80 per cent of valuation for the first three years of the mortgage.The mortgage has an arrangement fee […]

Nationwide digs in on pricing policy

The Building Societies Association has slammed research by the Halifax which claims 52 out of 67 mutuals offer mortgage rates more expensive than High Street banks.Speaking at the BSA conference in Harrogate, BSA director general Adrian Coles said building societies were in no mood to take lessons from the UK’s biggest lender.He said: “If Halifax […]

Lamfalussy Report welcomed by ABI and Autif

Last week&#39s Stockholm Summit of EU leaders resulted in further steps towards the creation of a single European financial services market. The Summit which included Prime Minister Tony Blair, adopted The Lamfalussy Report recommending ways to speed up regulation and decision making at the EU level which holds back the market. Both Blair and Conservative […]

L&G waives fee on flexi self-cert mortgage

Legal & General&#39s mortgage club is offering a flexible self-certification tracker mortgage which waives the usual £325 application fee until June 30.The interest rate tracks bank base rate plus 0.98 per cent for the life of the mortgage. The current rate is 6.23 per cent, and loans are available up to 85 per cent loan […]


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