Merrill Lynch's Hong Kong dollar equity linked note is due to close tomorrow, offering investors a final chance to lock in a product offering a minimum guaranteed return of 12 per cent over three years. The first-year coupon is fixed at 10 per cent; for both the second and third years, the coupons could be either 8 per cent or 1 per cent, depending on the performance of the underlying equities. The maximum potential return is 26 per cent. The product is linked to a basket of six blue-chip companies including Cheung Kong, HSBC, Hutchison Whampoa and PetroChina. Investors who exit early face redemption risk in the form of physical delivery of the underlying shares which may be worth substantially less than principal of the notes. 'It is an interesting product in this low interest rate environment,' says Merrill Lynch spokesman Abhinav Gorawara. The notes, named after the guarantor Cheung Kong Holdings, are expected to attract between $500 million and $1 billion. Mr Gorawara says Merrill Lynch may extend the offer date by a few days to enable more investors to take part. The coupon dates are in one-year intervals expected to start on May 24, 2006. Minimum investment is $50,000.