Caribbean, The Map

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Unit cost average costs.

Unit tax. An indirect tax direct taxation) levied as a cash amount per unit of the product produced or sold, e.g. 30p per litre or £ 1.50 per kilo.

Unit trust. An organization which invests funds subscribed by the public in securities, and in return issues units which it will repurchase at any time.

Caribbean, The Map Gallery Photos

Caribbean, The Map

The units, which represent equal shares in the trust's investment portfolio, produce income and fluctuate in value according to the interest and dividends paid and the stock exchange prices of the underlying investments. The trustees which actually hold the securities are usually banks or insurance companies, and are distinct from the management company. The subscriber to a unit trust does not, unlike a shareholder in an investment trust, receive any of the profits of the organization managing the trust. Management derives its income from an initial charge and a regular service charge as a percentage of the income of the trust's investments. Unit trusts are strictly controlled by the Department of Trade, which must give its approval to a trust before units can be offered to the public, and which sets maximum management charges and generally supervises the operation of the trusts. Unit trusts were introduced in Britain as long ago as 1930, but they have grown particularly rapidly since the late 1950s. The number of unit holdings more than doubled between 1963 and 1968 although it has declined in recent years. In 1978 there were over 400 unit trusts in existence in Britain. Unit trusts are directed particularly at the investor with small sums at his disposal. Units are easily purchased and resold, and risks are widely spread, it being usual for holdings of any one security to be kept below 5 per cent of the total. The investor also benefits from expert management, although the performance of the trusts varies enormously. Trusts may be fixed or flexible, i.e. their portfolio may remain the same or be altered as market conditions dictate. Some unit trusts specialize in small companies or blue chip shares, others in commodities or foreign companies. Some are designed to maximize income, others capital growth. The latter offer the option of distributed or reinvested income, and there are also trusts incorporating life insurance which can be subscribed to by regular payments assurance.

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Caribbean map – Detailed travel map of Caribbean islands

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