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Liontamer goes for a knockout

Liontamer has launched a new fund which is a bit of a departure from its normal diet of capital guaranteed product, linked to an index. But in keeping with tradition the new fund is imaginatively named. The Knockout Series One fund's objective is to provide a high potential coupon, which will be paid even if a particular sharemarket has low or zero growth.

Wednesday, July 16th 2008, 7:34AM
In addition to that there are opportunities, in the fund's five year term, to mature early.

The key difference between this fund and earlier Liontamer products is that the return element is converted into a coupon, or fixed interest type return, rather than an equity one.

Liontamer says the fund has the potential "to enhance portfolio returns in an otherwise low return environment."

Liontamer's investment director Janine Starks says it is still an equity-linked product.

She sees Knockout as being part of an equity allocation in a portfolio, although some people may prefer to use it as "a cash replacement" allocation.

The fund is offering a potential 12% annually, but in a compounded coupon rate which builds up over the five year term of the investment.

Payment of the coupon is dependent on the performance of a basket of Europe's 50 leading blue chip companies, as measured by the Dow Jones EURO STOXX 50 Index. If the level of the index is the same or higher than its starting level in a year's time, investors will earn the 12% coupon. If it does this the fund will close early - that is it will be a "knockout", with a full return of capital.

If the index doesn't maintain its value, investors stay invested for another year and the same test applies. Each year Liontamer compares the index to its starting level on the anniversary of the fund. There are five opportunities (one each year) to earn the high coupon and achieve a knockout (maturity of the fund).

If this happens at the end of Year Two the coupon jumps to 24%, if it happens at the end of Year Three, it's a 36% coupon, Year Four is 48% and Year Five is 60%.

Starks says the fund only has to be the same or ahead at each anniversary date to score a knockout. She says only the most bearish and pessimistic investors would believe that this index will go backwards for five years. Backtesting shows that there is an 80% chance this fund will payout in the first two years (however that is no guarantee that is what will happen).

Like with other Liontamer funds this one has capital protection, but only to 50%. The protection is provided by Liontamer's parent, KBC Bank.

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