Societe Generale’s CLNs could be ready for retail soon

Societe Generale’s CLNs could be ready for retail soon

Societe Generale’s new credit linked notes, which can be bought and sold on the London Stock Exchange, could soon be available to retail investors, Ryan Rogowski has said.

The French bank’s head of asset manager solutions said they are initially being targeted at discretionary fund managers, but that could soon change.

He said: “The key for us in the medium term is to keep the focus on professional investors and build up the range.

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“But it is conceivable that they will be available to retail investors in the future.”

At the end of 2014 Societe Generale launched its first LSE-listed CLN linked to the creditworthiness of Marks & Spencer and plans to launch more imminently.

The aim of a CLN is to provide investors with regular income over the investment term, and to return capital at maturity.

In 2010 the LSE launched an electronic order book for retail bonds allowing private investors to trade UK corporate bonds in deals as low as £100.

Previously, private investors could not trade corporate bonds through online stockbroking services, and had to deal by telephone in minimum sizes of £10,000-£50,000 for each bond.

Adviser view

Danny Cox of Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “These are sophisticated and complex investments which are designed for professionals and not suitable for retail investors.

“In this format I cannot see a time when they would be made available to anyone other than professional investors.”

Societe Generale has asked for us to clarify the situation with the following statement.

“Societe Generale would like to point out that the platform for Credit Linked Notes traded on the London Stock Exchange is for professional investors only. No decision has been made at this stage to offer retail investors access to such a platform in the near future.”