Money: Loose Change

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The Independent Online
Investors still have until 24 June to register with a share shop and qualify for the special incentives when they buy shares in British Energy next month. With a postal strike in prospect, registering by phone might be prudent. The offer opens on 26 June, when the full price is also published, and closes at noon on 10 July.

Just over 1.1 million investors had registered by 12 June, slightly more than Railtrack at the same stage, although the British Energy build-up will last a week less..

The first payment will be 100p a share for all investors, and the minimum application will be for 300 shares at pounds 300.

Investors who register and apply through a share shop will be asked if they prefer a discount of 10p a share on the second instalment - also expected to be around 100p - which will be payable on 16 September next year, or a free one-for-15 bonus issue of shares at the end of July 1999.

The discount applies only to the first 1,200 shares bought and held until the second instalment is due. The bonus offer applies to the first 1,800 shares bought and held until July 1999.

An interim dividend of 4.6p a share net of tax will be paid in January 1997 followed by a final dividend of 9.1p a share payable in July 1997.

Birmingham Midshires has launched three new Elsas (equity-linked savings accounts). One guarantees the return of capital plus 20 per cent over five years even if the FT-SE index falls. A second allows up to half the investment into a fixed interest account earning 8 per cent until next September. The third earns up to 1.5 times any rise in the index, with early redemption if the index rises 25 per cent after three years, and a 20 per cent return if the index falls. Minimum investment is pounds 2,500.

BZW is launching a new FT-SE-Linker bond which matures in three years and will be listed on the Stock Exchange. It will deliver rises in the index in full, a capital guarantee if the index falls and could be charged to capital gains not income tax. Minimum investment is pounds 2,000.

Extreme mortgage discounts are on the way out, according to brokers Chase de Vere, because the lenders have gained all the extra business they can handle. It is now offering a Lifestyle mortgage paying 1 per cent over the London money market rate, revised quarterly, no fees, daily interest calculation, no redemption fees after three years and the right to slow down or speed up repayments.

A new three year bond from Stroud & Swindon Buildng Society offers a fixed rate of 7.35 per cent until July 1999. Minimum investment is pounds 1,000.

Natwest Bank customers can obtain free printed mini-statements listing the last 12 items and the balance, from 1,900 cash dispensers out of 3,000 from the end of June.

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