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Opinion

A new wave of Bond liquidity

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Schroders celebrated the success of its third year of sponsorship of the London Boat Show with a James Bond party. With vodka-martinis, casino tables and Bond character lookalikes amid the million-dollar yachts it could easily have been mistaken for a Bond film set.

Exhibitors at the show this year reported record sales in spite of fewer visitors, deterred from coming, it seems, by unglamorous weather and traffic problems.

Those who were not discouraged, however, bore witness to the first ever British indoor wake-boarding championships. Schroders-sponsored Louise Moore scooped first place in the female competition.

As a sector, the UK leisure marine industry is also having a successful time. Turnover increased in 2004 by 7.8% to almost £2 billion ($3.75 billion).

This year, however, could be tougher. Schroders' chief economist, Keith Wade, was positive on the sector but warned of the effects of the falling dollar on exporters.

John Clarke, chief executive of the British Marine Federation, also warned of the forthcoming expiry of the derogation from EU legislation that allows red diesel to be used to fuel leisure boats. ?If the derogation is not extended, then overnight the cost of marine fuel could treble,? he said.

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