Uncertain dividends

Dividend Swaps

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Every winning streak comes to an end, but investors in the dividend swap market could have been forgiven for thinking theirs was the exception to the rule. The market's history is one of unblemished, spectacular returns for those investors that have chosen to go long dividends. That run came to a shuddering halt on July 20, when swaps across a range of maturities peaked simultaneously and went into reverse.

Dealers are keen to portray the decline as an orderly - and limited - retreat. But som

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