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NU shock move for £260m London sell-off

The £4.2bn Norwich Union property trust’s decision to put two flagship London office buildings on the market has surprised the City.

NPT is marketing an office block at 10 Queen’s Street Place, which is yielding 5 per cent, for £180m and 16 Old Bailey, on a yield of 4.25 per cent, for £81m.

The two sales comprise more than 5 per cent of the trust’s overall portfolio.

The yields on both properties are below the 5.5 per cent cost of long-term borrowing, meaning a buyer would need to have either a very long investment outlook or a bullish view on prospects for capital and rental growth.

NPT assistant manager David Deimer says: “Anyone looking to fund from the UK would be cashflow-negative but the sales decision is not entirely driven by debt rates and there is still a market for ‘trophy assets’. We bought the buildings a little over a year ago and the capital growth we anticipated has happened much quicker than we thought it would. We have 19 per cent of the fund in liquid assets and are not forced sellers but are testing the market to see if we can lock in that growth.”

He adds if NPT does not find a buyer at an acceptable price, it will keep the buildings, which have blue-chip tenants and strong covenants.


Marino Valensise appointed to CIO at Barings

Baring Asset Management has appointed Marino Valensise as chief investment officer, replacing Michael Hughes.Hughes will stay on at Barings in a consultancy capacity until his retirement at the end of the year.Valensise has 20 years’ investment experience, having joined Barings in 1999. Alan Wilde will assume leadership of the fixed income and currency team. Wilde, […]

Transparency was the clear choice

Contrary to what some sections of the industry would have us believe, wrap is pretty simple and straightforward.In essence, it is an administrative service that combines, or wraps, all of a client’s investments into a single manageable account.This means that their total portfolio can be viewed at a glance and involves a huge reduction in […]

Ashby moves to Credit Suisse

Equity income manager Graham Ashby joined Credit Suisse this week as managing director and head of UK retail equities from Sarasin Chiswell.

Banks shun second Bank of England money auction

Banks have shunned the Bank of England’s second £10bn money auction, it has emerged.This is the second time the Bank of England has run an auction in an attempt to ensure that lenders did not follow in the footsteps of Northern Rock’s funding crisis.Reports in the Daily Telegraph suggest that UK banks have been going […]


Guide: 10 required letters — what to send, to whom and when?

This guide from Johnson Fleming will take you through the required communication and also give ideas for additional actions that will ensure your auto-enrolment project is a success. The topics in this guide include: the letters you need to send out; what to send and when; the importance of employee engagement; and what to consider as additional communication.


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