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BFS starts to look at propertied split caps

Split-capital funds specialist BFS Investments is getting into the property market for the first time with the introduction of the BFS managed properties fund.

Domiciled in Guernsey, the fund is a split-capital investment trust that is aimed at both institutional and private investors who are looking for income and growth from a medium-risk investment.

The fund will have two classes of shares, zero dividend shares to provide income and ordinary shares. The fund will therefore be divided into two separate portfolios. The income portfolio will take up 35 per cent, and the property portfolio will take up the remaining 65 per cent.

The property portfolio itself will invest in a wide spread of freehold properties, with the majority being commercial. BFS will also seek to identify properties with reliable tenants who are unlikely to default on their rent, such as the Government, banks, building societies and major companies.

The May report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows that property prices in Wales and England in May 2001 rose at their fastest rate since March 2001. RICS put the rise down to a combination of competition between lenders for business and the string of cuts in interest rates in the first half of 2001.

BFS Investment’s introduction of the managed properties fund brings its range of split capital investment trusts to eight. These cover a wide range of areas, ranging from income & growth, small companies, Asian assets, and US special opportunities.

According to Standard & Poor’s the BFS small companies and equity income & bond trusts are first quartile, the zero dividend preference and geared income trusts are third quartile and the absolute return and income & growth trusts are fourth quartile, based on £1,000 invested on a mid-to-mid basis with gross income reinvested over one year to June 25, 2001.

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