A year on since the launch of Structured Products we felt it was time to honour those in the industry who have made a difference. Our awards coverage, together with details of how recipients were chosen, begins on page 11. We also felt it was time for a slight change to the magazine's design. It always pays to move with the times, as I'm sure our award recipients know only too well.
One institution that likes to lead the pack in terms of innovation is SG (winner of our house of the year, equity derivatives, award). Last month saw the launch of the first-ever structured funds to be quoted continuously on European exchange Euronext, and the CAC40-linked ETFs were designed by SG Asset Management Alternative Investments. They are currently marketed only in France, but there are expectations that the format will soon be reproduced for other important European indexes.
Another French bank, BNP Paribas (winner of our house of the year, hybrid award) has also been busy. Last month it launched its first retail structured note for the Hong Kong market. The payout will be linked to a reference basket of six financial institutions and corporates, with a fixed-interest payment of up to 5% a year over five-and-a-half years.
In fact, Hong Kong is more than ever proving to be a hot spot for structured products. UBS added to the flurry of activity last month when it launched its first commodities-linked guaranteed fund product in Hong Kong. Commodity 3-year Guaranteed Fund is the first in its Super Funds series. The three-year product is linked to Dow Jones-AIG Commodity Index SM and offers 100% capital return at maturity.
Because of the burgeoning Asian market, Structured Products will be holding a conference at Hong Kong's Conrad Hotel on November 23 and 24. There is still time to register, so visit www.incisive-events.com/spasia now. I look forward to meeting as many of you there as possible.