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The Independent Online
New investment plans to tickle your fancy

Trustee Savings Bank has launched its 19th five-year Guaranteed Stock Market Bond. There is an initial charge of 5 per cent but the bond offers a full guarantee against loss of the capital invested if the FT-SE 100 share index falls during the bond's five-year life, locks in the gain if the index rises 25 per cent over any period, and averages the index during the last year to even out sharp last-minute falls. All gains are paid tax-free to standard rate taxpayers and there is no cap on the gains. A bonus allocation of 0.5 per cent is on offer this month. Minimum investment is pounds 2,000.

Martin Currie has launched a new Japan Investment Trust including one free warrant with every five shares. The portfolio will contain some 60 shares, emphasising electronics and other growth sectors. Sandy Dudgeon, director of retail services, forecasts the economy will grow 2.5 per cent next year and the Nikkei 225 index will reach 21,000 by the end of next year, a rise of 20 per cent. Initial charges take 4.5 per cent and the annual charge will be 1 per cent. Call 0800 132647 for a prospectus.

UK pension funds, unit and investment trusts will be able to invest tax- free in debt issued by emerging economies in the hope of combining a high dividend yield with long-term capital growth. The broker Greig Middleton plans to sponsor Sovereign Debt Trust, based in Dublin and managed by Baring Asset Management, which will invest at least half its assets in "Brady bonds" issued by countries which have passed the tests for sound financial policies.

Rates shaved again as lenders chase mortgages

Broker Chase de Vere has shaved a further 0.04 per cent off its new two- year fixed rate mortgage available at 4.45 per cent until 1 November 1997. The minimum amount is pounds 30,000 and minimum loan to value 75 per cent, the completion fee is pounds 295, the redemption penalties six months' interest within three years and one month thereafter.

Alliance & Leicester is offering 12 months' free unemployment insurance and a free valuation on all A&L mortgages applied for by 16 December and taken out before the end of the year. Offer applies on fixed rate and discounted rate mortgages which also include a pounds 300 cashback and a 4 per cent cashback on variable rate mortgages.

Homeowners Friendly Society is launching a new 10-year tax-free savings plan with life assurance accepting deposits of pounds 25 a month or pounds 270 a year for a minimum of 10 years. Charges take 25 per cent of premiums in the first year, and a 7 per cent fee for the remaining term. There is also a 1 per cent annual management charge.

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