OXFORD entrepreneur David Cox is launching what he claims to be the world’s first bamboo bond.

He believes the fast-growing grass could lead to fast-growing profits — and help solve many of the planet’s problems, from climate change to the disappearance of the rain forests.

Now Mr Cox, 34, is backing his hunch with hard cash. He has set up EcoPlanet Bamboo (UK) Ltd at offices in St Aldate’s, Oxford.

The firm has already bought a 2,000-acre plantation in Nicaragua to grow a type of bamboo called Guadua Angustifolia.

Mr Cox is president of the Chicago-based EcoPlanet Group and chief executive of its new Oxford subsidiary.

He said: “The USA will be the biggest market for the bamboo. The first customers will probably be producers of flooring and panel fibre board, used in the building of timber frame houses.

“A 20-metre hardwood tree, harvested for its timber, can take up to 100 years to replace, while bamboo — which can be used for many purposes similar to wood — will reach 30 metres in a year.”

Mr Cox will this evening launch the Bamboo Bond at a presentation at the Hilton Hotel in London.

The bonds will allow people to invest at least £10,300 in the hope of obtaining a return of 503 per cent over 15 years.

Mr Cox, who has a Masters degree in economics from Bristol University, is upfront about the risk.

He said: “The offer is not regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and investors need to realise they are not protected in the way they would be with an FSA-regulated product.”

All the same, he says he has already obtained promises worth £2m and is confident of achieving his target of £7.5m.

For the past seven years he has run his company Property Frontiers from the St Aldate’s office. It helps investors buy property anywhere in the world. The firm has an annual turnover of more than £1.5m and employs 20 people.

Meanwhile, Oxford Brookes University lecturer, Shpend Gerguri, working with students at the School of Technology, has developed a bamboo bicycle.

He said: “Bamboo is environmentally easy to produce, compared to metals.”