Tuesday 20 April 2021 1:39 pm

M&G reopens property fund after flogging retail assets

M&G has reopened its property portfolio after flogging its retail assets more than a year after it froze dealing in the fund amid a surge in investor withdrawal requests.

The asset management giant said today it will unfreeze the funds for dealing from 10 May.

It suspended the property portfolio in December 2019 amid a jump in investors asking to withdraw their savings.

Since then, the firm has reduced portfolio risk, strengthened its income stream and lowered the vacancy rate to 7.2 per cent by selling 38 properties, at an average 0.1 per cent discount to their net asset value.

In total, 38.8 per cent of the disposals were retail properties, M&G said. It has reduced its exposure to the struggling sector from 38.4 per cent to 28.1 per cent to focus on industrials.

Laurence Mumford, chair of the fund’s ACD, M&G Securities Limited, said: “We deeply regret the inconvenience that suspension has caused our customers and clients.

“The decision to suspend was taken to protect the interests of all of our investors, enabling the fund manager to sell assets in an orderly fashion.

“We believe this has preserved value for customers, while also maintaining the integrity and future prospects of the fund.”