Several industry players are predicting a gradual decline in the number of fund houses and investment banks offering retail capital guaranteed products after strong growth in the market this year. Despite his optimism about the market's outlook, Adam Cowperthwaite, director of equity derivatives at Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), said the number of providers had grown so large that some investment houses could be on their way out of the market in the near future. 'I see a persistent demand for guaranteed products,' he said. 'There are now a huge number of providers, but I think that, within the next year or two, you will see some of them dropping out. 'This will be decided by the quality of their relationships with distributors, how interesting and innovative their products are, and how much value they offer.' Mr Cowperthwaite, who heads the bank's retail structured product business, brushed off suggestions that the popularity of guaranteed products could be under threat from the several large mainland corporate initial public offerings and the more recent Link Reit. The products appealed to different investor bases, he said. Earlier this month, CSFB launched its second guaranteed product for retail investors. Some of Mr Cowperthwaite's comments were echoed by Andrew Au Siu-fai, senior vice-president of structured products, Asia, for SG Securities. He said the structure of individual products would ultimately determine the providers' ability to prevail in the market. 'If you are simply duplicating products then it wouldn't be good for the market,' said Mr Au. 'If a provider has no new ideas then their products won't be able to raise any substantial amount of money, which in turn means lower profit for them. If that's the case, then the providers will opt out of the market by themselves.'