Columbia Threadneedle to open shuttered UK property fund

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The Anglo-US asset manager said in a September 12 statement it will lift the trading suspension it imposed on the Threadneedle UK Property Authorised Investment Fund, and its feeder vehicle the Threadneedle UK Property Authorised Trust, on September 26 at noon.

It had temporarily halted trading in the fund on July 6, two weeks after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Don Jordison, managing director of property at Columbia Threadneedle, said in the statement: “In the short period following the referendum, we saw animal spirits drive unprecedented levels of redemptions from daily dealt open-ended property funds. Much of the earlier commentary now appears slightly irrational and more informed reflection has settled the market.”

Columbia Threadneedle is one of the first to lift its trading suspension after a raft of the largest funds run by managers were shuttered to prevent investor redemptions being made. At the time of the suspension, Columbia Threadneedle’s fund had been worth £1.3 billion.

The company said that since July, the fund had completed, exchanged or agreed to sell 25 properties totalling £167 million across all UK regions and property types, with no forced sales in that time. No updated value for the fund has been provided.

The prices it achieved were, on average, less than 1% lower than the last independent valuation prior to the referendum, the company said, adding that the fund would reopen without redemption penalties and return to standard monthly valuations from the weekly gauge in place during the suspension.

Columbia Threadneedle said: “Aside from moving to weekly valuation during the suspension period, the fund’s price was not altered through any form of fair value pricing adjustment ensuring the ongoing integrity and established investment philosophy of the fund remain robust.”

In August, Aberdeen Asset Management, which had lifted the gating on its property fund the previous month, cut its price discount on redemptions, while Canada Life, which ran a range of smaller funds, began to allow investors to pull out their assets in September.

Some of the largest funds in the sector, including those run by Henderson, M&G Investments and Standard Life Investments, remain closed to new money or investor redemptions.

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