Aberdeen Standard taps into e-commerce with investment trust

A new investment trust from Aberdeen Standard Investments will invest in warehouses and distribution centres to tap into the growth of e-commerce and online retailing.

The Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income investment trust will aim for a 5.5 per cent yield and total return of 7.5 per cent annually. Evert Castelein will manage the investment trust from Amsterdam with support from assistant fund managers Ross Braithwaite and Attila Molnar.

It will launch next month.

The investment trust will exploit the supply-demand imbalance in the sector, says global head of real estate investment research Andrew Allen. Within 12 months it aims to have fully invested the £250m it is seeking to raise on the London Stock Exchange.

“The European logistics market is already sizable but developing fast as e-commerce expands over the next three years, outpacing the UK and creating demand for new large distribution warehouses across the region.

“At the same time, as population growth rates rise in key European cities, competition for land intensifies – prompting a ‘race for space’, particularly for ‘last mile’ delivery on the outskirts of towns and cities.”

Warehouse and distribution centre occupiers typically sign long-term continuous leases, which are inflation linked.

Major players such as Amazon, and couriers like DHL and Fedex, will change the way goods are manufactured, sold and distributed, Allen says. Europe will also benefit from progress in global trade, he says.

The investment trust will use “modest” leverage, says Aberdeen Standard Investments.

The asset manager already manages 144 logistics properties with a total value of €2.6bn across 10 European countries.