SRP reviews some of the best-performing products across European markets in 2023.

Autocalls continued to deliver, often redeeming early on their first valuation date, while products that struck around March-June 2020 made the most of the low entry levels provided by global stock markets which suddenly crashed after growing instability due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

France: H Performance 44 – 140%/38.8% pa

Hedios’ 12-year medium-term note (MTN) was issued on the paper of Citigroup Global Markets Funding Luxembourg. It sold €5.7m at inception and offered access to the Euro iStoxx 50 Equal Weight NR Decrement 5% EUR Index, which replicates the performance of the Eurostoxx 50 Equal Weight NR Index while assuming a constant dividend markdown. The product knocked out after one-year, at the first time of asking, after the index had increased by more than 110% compared to its initial level.

Italy: Cash Collect Maxi Memory Autocall – 117.5%/38.4% pa

BNP Paribas’ three-year income autocall paid a fixed ‘maxi’ coupon of 16% on 28 November 2022 – two months after it was first issued – regardless of the performance of the underlying shares of Eni, Intesa Sanpaolo, Moncler and STMicroelectronics. An additional coupon of 1.50% was paid on 2 March 2023, and because each share closed well above its starting price (10.4%, 46.1%, 34.9%, and 24.5%, respectively) the product redeemed early on its first valuation date, returning 100% of the nominal invested, plus a coupon of 17.5% after just six months of investment.

Finland: C186 Osaketodistus Sampo 2023 – 253.5%/35.8% pa

Nordea’s three-year MTN struck on 1 April 2020, not long after the Covid-induced market crash witnessed mid-March 2020 when markets reached their lowest levels in years. Profiting from the low entry levels, the underlying share of Nordic insurer group Sampo Oyj increased by 127% over the three-year term. Coupled with a 200% participation rate, the note, which was targeted at Nordea’s private banking clients, returned 253.5%, or 35.8% pa.

Sweden: Autocall Svenska bolag Recovery Smart Bonus 2 år Kvartalsvis nr 4735 – 107.8%/27.8% pa

Garantum teamed up with UBS for this autocall structure in Sweden. The two-year certificate gathered sales of SEK14m (US$1.4m) and offered access to a basket of four Swedish stocks: Electrolux, Getinge B, Securitas and SKF. This was another product that redeemed on its first autocall date – after three months to be precise – returning 107.75% (27.8% pa).

The Netherlands: Double Dutch – 126.1%/26% pa

Dutch fund manager Wilgenhaege collaborated with BNP Paribas for this five-year Athena autocall, which first struck on 30 September 2022. It redeemed early on 2 October 2023, its first anniversary, after the shares of ASML and TKH both closed above their respective starting price. It has been a good year for Wilgenhaege, which has seen a strong growth in structured products during 2023, partly thanks to successful redemptions: six very positive, two with a small negative, and soon two more that could potentially redeem with a big plus.

Belgium: Opti Performer 03/2023 – 175.4%/20.6% pa

Belfius’ note on the Eurostoxx Banks, which collected sales of €10.2m, also made the most of the market conditions at the beginning of 2020. It struck on 9 March 2020 when the index closed at 65.4 basis points (bps), not far above its all-time low of 50.8bps. However, since then, the index started an upwards trajectory, reaching 113.8bp by the time the product matured on 24 February – an increase of more than 75%.

UK: FTSE 100 FDEW Long Kick-Out Plan June 2020 (Option 3) – 153.3%/15.3% pa

This 10-year plan, which was distributed via Tempo Structured Products, was another structure that profited from the low entry level provided by the markets in the first half of 2020. It was issued via Société Générale and listed on the London Stock Exchange for an issuance amount of £0.9m (US$1.1m). The products knockout feature was triggered on the third anniversary – its first autocall valuation date – when the underlying FTSE 100 Equal Weight Fixed Dividend Custom Index closed above its initial level.

Germany: Memory Express – 114.5%/7% pa

This offering from Leonteq offered access to the share of Gilead Sciences. The certificate promised to return 114.5% after two years, even if the underlying share had fallen by up to 10% at maturity. However, investors needn’t have worried as the pharmaceutical share in fact had risen by around 28%, leaving them with an annual profit of seven percent.

Image: Eakrin/Adobe Stock.