View from City Road: Tough task for BZW sales team

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The Independent Online
Barclays is to be congratulated on its novel scheme to reduce its exposure to the UK property market. Where other attempts to market investment funds based on property have failed, such as the futures market and securitisation of single buildings, this new idea might just work.

BZW's sales team will nevertheless have an uphill struggle to sell their Property Index Certificates to pension funds and the like. The benefits to Barclays are clear - they hedge against any fall in the UK property market, and thus help to reduce the imbalance in the bank's loan book towards property.

But what's in it for investors? For bigger funds, probably very little. The certificates will be valued only annually, making this a pretty illiquid market. If you really want to get into the property market, surely it is better to invest direct?

For smaller funds, however, there might be advantages. For the first time it will be possible to buy exposure to the UK property market in relatively small ( pounds 250,000) packets, without all the costs and delay of buying property direct.