Bottom Line: Yields falling flat for Land Securities

A BETTER than expected 34.3 per cent rise in Land Securities' net asset value to 677p a share, as the value of its portfolio rose by 19.6 per cent, is a reminder of how gearing can work in favour of property companies in a rising market.

Derivatives exposure 'small'

BRITAIN's futures and options specialists yesterday attacked US calls for greater controls over derivatives as ill-conceived, saying worldwide exposure was relatively small, writes Peter Rodgers.

US report urges tight controls over derivatives: Congressional warning of threat to financial stability

A US CONGRESSIONAL report yesterday branded derivatives a potential threat to financial stability and recommended sweeping regulations of the burgeoning market to head off a 'bail-out paid for by taxpayers'.

Commodities and Derivatives: 'Wannabe' wizards glimpse the future

AS DETAILS emerge of Hillary Clinton's huge successes trading commodities futures in the late 1970s, many investors are asking how they can do the same.

Banks act to avert derivatives crackdown

THE top 15 banks and securities houses in the worldwide derivatives markets are putting the finishing touches to a new voluntary code which they hope will head off pressure for tougher government regulation, writes Peter Rodgers.

Link-up on derivatives control: British and US regulators seek to establish international guidelines

British and American regulators have joined together to tighten control over financial companies that trade in derivatives such as futures and options. This follows concern at the huge increase in the use of such securities.

Post Office raid

An armed gang escaped with a 'substantial amount of money' after hijacking a security van on a run to make three cash pick-ups at post offices in Essex.

Warrants oil wheels of investment trusts: The right to buy future shares at a fixed price is a growing perk

TRADING began last week in the shares of two new investment trusts: Kleinwort Benson's heavily oversubscribed European Privatisation trust, and the Taiwan trust from Jupiter Tyndall, which is more specialised.

City & Business: No stopping shares

LAST week we were subjected to the supreme example of how derivative trading is beginning to dominate activity in equity markets. The episode centred on UBS, which spent up to pounds 1bn in a single day buying constituents of the mid 250 index so as to cover a warrant it was selling to clients on the index. As a consequence the mid 250 went through the roof.

Warrant news

Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management has produced a free information booklet on warrants, a specialised form of investment with potentially high returns but also a high degree of risk. Call 0272 767767.

Exchange delays

The Stock Exchange has delayed release of a report by one of its own working parties on substitutes for the Unlisted Securities Market. It believes there is insufficient evidence of public support for the creation of a separately administered Enterprise Market. The news will dismay venture capitalists and small enterprise companies with relatively illiquid stock.

View from City Road: ASB's bark has more effect

David Tweedie, chairman of the Accounting Standards Board, calls FRS4 a 'negative standard that should never have been issued in the first place'. And now it seems that he and his team need not have bothered to go ahead with it. Just the threat has been enough to bring most companies into line.

How to check on financial advisers

If you want to check up on a firm giving financial advice you have to consult the central register held by the Securities and Investments Board. A free booklet has been produced that explains how you do this. Phone 071-638 1240.

Mortar attack

Two policemen and several civilians were injured and more than 50 buildings damaged when an IRA mortar bomb exploded outside a security forces base at Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh.

Trust in Lazards

LAZARD Investors is launching an investment trust with a six-year life that aims for a yield of 8 per cent gross through investing mainly in convertible securities. These offer a fixed rate of interest and the right to convert to ordinary shares at a future date. There will be just one class of share. Minimum investment is pounds 1,000. Prospectuses can be ordered on 071-867 8665/6 from next Wednesday.
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