F&C launches third property trust

The trust is targeting an initial 6% yield for its investors. It will aim to achieve this objective with a portfolio of large, high-quality properties – including office blocks, retail business parks and shopping centres.

The F&C Commercial Property trust will be the group’s third property-orientated closed-ended fund. In October 2003 it launched the £120m Isis Property trust, before launching the £170m Isis Property trust 2 the following May.

Jason Hollands, head of communications at F&C, says the £1bn size of the trust is more a function of the average-sized property in the portfolio than of expected demand. “The typical property in this trust will be much larger than the first two we launched. What we are doing is taking the properties we already manage and turning them into Guernsey-registered companies. These will then be listed on both the London and Channel Islands stock exchanges. We are not raising cash to buy buildings we do not already own.”

According to Hollands, a phase of pre-marketing conducted before Christmas found that investor demand for commercial property was still high. As a result, with its first two trusts currently trading at premiums, it decided to launch a third vehicle.

Over one year to December 27, 2004, the Isis Property Trusts 1 and 2 are ranked fifth and eighth out of 13 funds in the IMA’s specialist Property sector.