UK structured products sales up 10% in 2004

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Sales volumes of UK structured retail products rose by 9% in 2004, from £5.6 billion in 2003 to £6.1 billion, according to research published by StructuredRetailProducts.com (SRP).

SRP says this figure is higher when the growth in open-ended products is taken into account. There are now just under 40 such funds, running more than £1.7 billion.

UK providers issued 563 products, up 11.5% on 2003. The vast majority were growth products: only 18 income products made it off the drawing board, SRP says. The most prolific provider was Bristol & West.

SRP also found that the market consolidated last year. The number of overall providers fell for the first time in the UK market from 85 to 83, and the top ten players took 61% of all sales, up almost a third from 46% in 2003.

The final month of the year ended with a surge of new product issuance with 47 products being added to SRP’s database, up from just 30 in November 2004. Proving the consolidation trend 26 of them came from just two providers.

In related news, SRP’s owner, Arete Consulting, will hold a conference on European structured retail products in London on February 8. Speakers include Marie Pascale Bonhomme, marketing manager of structured products for Crédit Agricole Asset Management, who will be talking on retail opportunities for the French market in 2005.

Pierre Mendelsohn, director of Merrill Lynch’s structured solutions group, will also talk on enhanced strategies and open-ended products. And Kevin Burke, Barclays Capital’s head of European private banking coverage will also present.

Full details are available on the internet at www.arete-events.com/conf_overview.htm.

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