M&G Investments (M&G) said on Wednesday it was temporarily suspending dealing in the shares of the M&G Property Portfolio (the Fund) and its feeder fund, citing Brexit-related uncertainty and ongoing structural shifts in the UK retail sector.
In recent months, unusually high and sustained outflows from the M&G Property Portfolio have coincided with a period where continued Brexit-related political uncertainty, M&G Investments said.
”Ongoing structural shifts in the UK retail sector have made it difficult for us to sell commercial property. Given these circumstances, we have now reached a point where M&G believes it will best protect the interests of the Funds’ customers by applying a temporary suspension in dealing,” said M&G in a statement.
The Fund will continue to be actively managed in suspension, but in recognition of customers’ temporary inability to access their investment, M&G is waiving 30% of its annual charge, which will end when the Funds resume dealing. Suspension will be regularly reviewed, we will keep investors informed via the M&G website and notify of any changes to the level of fee waiver.
In accordance with the Fund’s strategy, the suspension will allow the fund managers time to raise cash levels to pay redemptions, whilst ensuring that asset sales are achieved at market prices and investors in the Fund are safeguarded. In all other aspects, the Fund will continue to operate as normal throughout the suspension and customers will continue to receive income payments.
The decision to suspend was made by M&G Securities Limited, the Funds’ Authorised Corporate Director, in agreement with the Fund’s Depositary and the Financial Conduct Authority has been informed.
Orders placed after midday (or 11am via MyM&G) on 4 December 2019, will not be accepted until the suspension is lifted.
The suspension will be monitored daily, formally reviewed every 28 days and will only continue as long as it is in the best interests of our customers, reopening as soon as liquidity levels have been sufficiently rebuilt.
The M&G Property Portfolio is a broadly diversified fund which invests in 91 UK commercial properties across retail, industrial and office sectors on behalf of UK retail investors. The Fund manages assets of £2.54 billion as at 31 October 2019.