A way into French sales

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THE FRENCH government is embarking on a string of privatisations, with well-known names for sale including Air France, Renault, Elf and Credit Lyonnais. British investors are being offered a streamlined way into the issues by the London private client stockbroker, Killik & Co.

The idea is that investors pledge a minimum of pounds 5,000, which is held in a French franc deposit account paying about 5.5 per cent gross.

This will be used to apply for shares in the first privatisation. The shares can be either managed or advisory.

The managed shares will be sold on the first day of trading. Killik will write to investors at least a week before each issue closes to give them the chance to veto the investment or scale it down.

Matthew Orr, a Killik director, said investors could suffer if allocations were scaled back and dealing charges wiped out any gains. Commission is a flat pounds 25 in the managed service and pounds 35 for the advisory service.

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