FCA warns against dubious graphene investments

Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:45pm EST

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Dec 29 (Reuters) - Britain's financial regulator is to warn consumers to be wary of dubious investments in graphene offered by unscrupulous brokers aiming to cash in on the excitement generated by the "miracle material".

Graphene, discovered in 2004 at the University of Manchester, is a flexible sheet of carbon that can conduct electricity. It is only one atom thick but 100 times stronger than steel.

Though graphene has myriad potential applications, from flexible electronic devices to the manufacture of lighter aircraft, much research has yet to be done and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it would be posting a warning on its website on Monday about graphene-related investments.

"For investors it's very difficult to recoup money if you are investing in graphene," an FCA spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.

"We came across a number of instances where boiler room scams are offering investments in graphene, so we are putting out a warning that people should be on their guard."

The European Union this year said that part of a 2 billion euro ($2.8 billion) research grant will be given to a project studying graphene. ($1 = 0.7258 euros)

(Reporting by Tasim Zahid in Bangalore; Editing by David Goodman)

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