Money: Loose Change

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The Independent Online
KDM, a timber company with a sideline in Christmas trees, is looking to raise up to pounds 2m through an EIS offer sponsored by Edinburgh-based Hodgson Martin which closes next Wednesday. The business has been running since 1981 and the management team has been together since 1984. It made a modest pounds 262,000 on a turnover of pounds 12.5m last year and plans to list on AIM within two years. Minimum investment is pounds 1,500 and the launch expenses will be 8.5 per cent on the first million, and 4.5 per cent on the second million.

Guinness Flight's VCT has reached its minimum subscription level of pounds 8m and will definitely proceed. The offer has been extended to 3pm on Tuesday.

Abtrust has extended its savings plan to cover 15 of its investment trusts, and abolished initial charges with the exception of the stamp duty fee of 0.5 per cent. The four new trusts available to savers are the High Income, Jove and Danae split capital, and the Asian Smaller Companies trusts. Minimum investment is pounds 25 a month.

Skipton Building Society has launched a five-year fixed-rate bond paying 7.75 per cent gross on a minimum investment of pounds 5,000 linked to a long- term, lump-sum unit-linked investment policy from General Accident Life with a range of options between fully guaranteed returns and maximum growth, and no initial charge.

Investors can now get a guaranteed return of their capital on a high income bond even if the stock market falls by as much as 10 per cent over the next five and a half years. The new Income Bonus Bond launched by Johnson Fry and Financial Assurance also offers a fixed return of 8 per cent tax-free or an accumulated return of 55 per cent plus a 15 per cent bonus if the UK and US stock markets rise by 50 per cent over the life of the bond. Minimum investment is pounds 5,000.

Manor Park is launching two new guaranteed funds. The UK Capital Growth Fund offers the amount invested after charges plus a 25 per cent return at the end of five years, plus 100 per cent of any rise in the FT-SE index over the period. The Accelerated Growth Fund offers to return the gross amount invested after five years plus twice the gain in the index.

Stroud & Swindon Building Society has launched a Flexible Mortgage which allows borrowers to speed up repayments without penalty to reduce interest payments and build up a surplus which can be reborrowed for special purchases, baby breaks or other needs. Borrowers also qualify for a 3 per cent initial bonus.

Norwich & Peterborough has cut its variable mortgage rate to 7.24 per cent and introduced a 5 per cent discount for six months plus a pounds 400 cash- back to cover a completion fee of pounds 295. First Mortgage is offering loans up to 90 per cent of value on its range of variable and fixed rate mortgages. Mortgage Trust has cut its flexible Early Payment Plus mortgage rate to 6.99 per cent.

West Bromwich Building Society has launched a new bonus mortgage which charges a standard variable rate, currently 7.25 per cent, but reduces the balance owing by 3 per cent in each of years three, six and nine, saving almost pounds 4,000 in capital and a further pounds 5,000 in interest on a pounds 45,000 loan over 25 years.

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