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New Star ponders retail global property

New Star is investigating launching a retail version of its institutionally managed global property fund.

The highly leveraged portfolio was established in April last year and has already reached $1bn in size.

The fund is designed for wealthy investors and has a minimum investment of $5m, with investors subject to a seven-year lock-in.

Managing director of UK retail sales and marketing Phil Wagstaff says: “We have the resources and we have taken care of the tax issues related to launching a fund of this kind.

“We are now looking into the regulatory obstacles that we face and are in discussions with the FSA over the possibility of bringing what would be a first of its kind into the UK retail space.”

Meanwhile, New Star fund manager Tim Steer says he will reposition his £350m UK alpha fund once the portfolio hits the £500m mark.

Steer, who has run the fund since its launch in November 2001, says he would have to add at least 10 stocks to widen the scope of the fund as he would rather close the portfolio than run it into the billions of pounds in its current state.

He says: “If the fund were to stay at 60 stocks, I would definitely think of closing it once it reaches a total of £500m as the idea of owning 15 to 20 per cent of any company does not attract me at all.”

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