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Swip gets real with Reits

Scottish Widows Investment Partnership has established the Swip European real estate fund, an Oeic which invests in property shares across Europe including the UK.

The fund will invest in 25- 45 companies which own, manage or develop property in Europe. The fund will rely on Swips in-house, Europea property expertise to identify key areas of interest in the region. This will be combined with bottom-up stock analysis and valuation stockpicking from Swip’s European equity team.

The fund will be managed by Head of European Equities Nigel Bolton with Head of Property Research Ian Hally providing analysis on the European direct real estate market. Bolton has 20 years experience, including 11 years at Citigroup Asset Management where he became managing director. Hally worked as an investment analysts for Foreign & Colonial and European proeprty reserachers Property Market Analysis before joining Swip in 2001.

European property share prices are influenced by direct property and equity markets. Swip believes its ability to produce in-depth analysis of direct European real estate and research on individual real estate companies will allow it to identify the long-term value of European property shares.

The property researchers have identified key areas in Europe for property investment including retail proeprty in southern Europe, such as Spain and Italy, growth office markets such as Paris, the central London office market and warehouse property in the Benelux region.

Compared with direct property investments, property shares are more liquid and provide diversity to investors which would be difficult to achieve through direct investment because of the cost of each building. Funds investing directly in property may make this easier, but managers may find it difficult to find suitable properties so their portfolios may hold a lot of cash while they wait. Lower volatility than generally equities.
However, in some respects property shares behave more like equities than the underlying property market, although they are less volatile than other types of equities.

According to Swip, the European listed property sector is growing at a rapid rate which is expected to increase with the likely introduction of Reits in the UK and Germany. Through this fund UK investors have a chance to access a market that is, traditionally the preserve of the institutional investors. However, some may prefer to


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