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Standard Life comes into property



Type: Closed-ended investment company

Aim: Income and growth by investing in UK commercial property

Minimum investment: Lump sum £5,000

Investment split: Standard offices 37.5%, retail warehouses 25.5%,
leisure 16%, office parks 10.7%, standard industrials 8%, industrial
parks 2.3%

Place of registration: Guernsey

Charges: Initial 2.5%, annual 0.85%

Commission: Initial 2%

Tel: 0131 225 2345

Standard Life Investments&#39 property income trust is a
Guernsey-based fund that aims to produce income of 6.5 per cent a
year plus the possibility of growth by investing in a portfolio of 13 UK
commercial properties.

Anton Robinson feels Standard Life Investments has a good track
record in the area of commercial property and believes there will be
demand for this product. “A lot of people still have to increase their
weightings in commercial property and many are looking for higher
income than current deposit rates. Some still will not commit to the
stockmarket,” he says.

Highlighting the most attractive features of this trust Robinson
mentions the 15 per cent share buyback, which is explained in the
prospectus and the fact that 35 per cent of the investment is
underwritten by Standard Life. He adds: “This product has fairly low
volatility and it is fairly easy to sell holdings in the marketplace.”

On the down side, Robinson complains the portfolio is heavy in
London and the South East. He also regards the office content as too
high. Looking at the information on the directors that is contained
within the prospectus, he also feels they already hold too many
directorships of other companies. He then adds that £99.9m of
property within the portfolio will not attract stamp duty but the balance
will up to a maximum of £56.3m.

In conclusion, Robinson believes Standard Life Investments could
face competition from the likes of the Isis property trust, Westbury
balanced property trust and the Morley managed Norwich high
income property trust.

Suitability to market: Good
Investment strategy: Good
Charges: Good

Overall 8/10


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