AXA has become the latest investment firm to postpone withdrawals from its property funds, putting a six month delay on requests from investors on its life property and pension property funds.
Following similar recent announcements from Close Investments, AEGON Scottish Equitable and Scottish Widows, AXA has implemented the deferral to fund switches out, surrenders from, and transfers out of the funds.
It cites the commercial property “slowdown”, prompting a fall in the liquidity of property funds across the market, as the reason behind its decision.
AXA says regular withdrawals, death claims and payment of pension benefits on retirement are unaffected.
Ian Colquhoun, managing director, Investment Office, says: “Given the current liquidity of the funds the deferral is a sensible and prudent decision, taken as a result of careful assessment as to what is best for the funds investors as a whole.
“Treating all our customers fairly is our main concern for both for those customers who wish to remain invested in the AXA property funds for the longer term as well as those who wish to take money out.
“This measure, which is normal in such circumstances, will permit the managers of the funds to sell selected properties in a considered manner and at a reasonable price.
“The recent uncertainty in the commercial property market follows a strong performance in this sector over the past couple of years. Along with most of the industry, we at AXA maintain the view that property remains a solid long-term investment.”
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