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Six asset managers suspend funds over market volatility

Aberdeen Standard Investments golf

Dealing has been suspended (pic: Terry Murden)

Six asset managers have closed property funds because of valuation concerns amid volatility of the markets.

Columbia Threadneedle, BMO Global Asset Management, Legal and General Investment Management, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Kames Capital and Janus Henderson have all suspended their open-ended UK property vehicles.

Aberdeen Standard Investments has suspended dealing in the £1.7 billion Standard Life Investments UK Real Estate Fund and £1.1 billion Aberdeen UK Property Fund because of market volatility.

The company said that as with the other property fund suspensions announced over the last 24 hours, the suspension of these two ASI funds is solely due to the extreme difficulty in accurately valuing assets in the current environment.

An Aberdeen Standard Investments spokesperson, said: “Following the introduction of “material uncertainty” clauses into valuations by UK property fund industry valuers, we have suspended dealing in our two open ended UK property funds and their feeder funds.

“Markets around the world have experienced huge disruption as COVID-19 spreads and trading in the UK property market is being severely impacted.

“As a result the Funds’ Independent Valuers have informed us it is not currently possible to provide accurate and reliable valuations for certain assets , including the properties held in the Funds. 

“We are therefore unable to produce a price for the Funds which we can say with any confidence reflects the true value of the assets.

“This action reflects the exceptional circumstances in global markets, including the UK property market as COVID-19 spreads, and the need to protect client interests by suspending trading when there is material uncertainty regarding how the assets should be valued.

“We will aim to lift the suspension as soon as confidence returns to the market and there is more certainty regarding asset valuations, taking into account the best interests of customers and investors. We will continue to keep everyone updated and thank them for their patience and understanding in these difficult times.”

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