FINANCE NEWS: Property investment sector to hot up with launch of COIF fund

JULIE PYBUS

Competition in the charity property investment market has increased with the launch of the COIF Charities Property Fund, the second property common investment fund for charities.

Run by CCLA, the investment manager for churches, charities and local authorities, the COIF Charities Property Fund will open to investors from 26 September.

This new fund comes two years after the launch of the similarly-named Charities Property Fund by Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite and Savills Fund Management.

Charles Mesquita, charities specialist at Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite, welcomed the competitor. "This launch reinforces our long-held belief that property can play an important role within a balanced portfolio,

he said.

David Kightley, CCLA's marketing manager, said that the company had been working on establishing the new property fund for a couple of years. "A bit more competition in the sector is no bad thing,

he said.

After many years of being out of favour, property has been attracting interest among institutional fund managers. However, to date, few charities have shown an interest in the asset class in spite of the fact that property has been the best performing asset class over the past five years.

The COIF Charities Property Fund has a ready-made £50 million portfolio of 23 properties that are being transferred from its existing COIF Charities Investment Fund. CCLA anticipates the latest property fund will generate a dividend yield of 5.5-6 per cent per year.

Over the past year, Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite's Charities Property Fund has achieved a dividend yield of around 6.5 per cent and is anticipating maintaining that over the coming year.

The fund currently stands at around £70 million.

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