Convertibles set to exploit renewed bond issuance after disastrous 2003

Convertible managers could buy into new issues, but still face low volatility difficulties

Investors could scarcely have imagined a worse set of incidents effecting convertible arbitrage in 2003, says one fund of funds manager, but the strategy's resilience could help it profit from growing bond issuance in 2004.

Richard Atkinson, manager of RMB International's Global Spread Capture fund, said 2003 was truly convertibles' 'annus horribilis'.

'There was a collapse in volatility, dramatic swings in credit, and the introduction in the US of a lower level of dividends on common stocks

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