People and Business: Twin studies

THE BZW Equity-Gilt Study has given birth to twins.

For years and years BZW pumped out its comparative study on investment. Then CSFB bought the equity side of BZW, and the remains of the investment bank were renamed Barclays Capital. Both successor institutions lay claim to the Gilt Study.

You might expect that the CSFB Equity-Gilt Study, published on Monday, would seek to be as different as possible to the Barclays Capital Equity- Gilt Study which was published yesterday.

Bizarrely, both sets of analysts compared notes informally - they do have neighbouring offices in Canary Wharf, after all - and have come up with identical headline numbers. Both say that for 1998 gilts' real returns rose by 21.7 per cent, whereas equity real returns were up by 10.6 per cent.

Sadly, there is still no word from Michael Hughes, now at Barings Asset Management, who for many years headed up the original study at BZW. Who knows, it could be triplets yet.