Standard Life shuts property fund amid rush of Brexit withdrawals

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Source: the guardian website 4th July 2016

Investors in Standard Life’s property funds have been told that they cannot withdraw their money, after the firm acted to stop a rush of withdrawals following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

The firm halted trading on its Standard Life Investments UK Real Estate Fund and associated funds at midday on Monday, citing “exceptional market circumstances” for the decision. It said the suspension would remain in place until it is “practicable” to lift it, and that it would review the decision at least every 28 days.

Adrian Lowcock, head of investing at AXA Wealth, said the suspension brought back into focus the issues with investing in open-ended commercial property funds.

“During the financial crisis many investors were stuck in funds which had closed to redemptions as liquidity dried up,” he said. “However, whilst there is a short-term issue with the asset class, I do not think this will lead to long-term closure of property funds as it is driven by asset allocation decisions not by investors needing access to money.”

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