Premier’s Hambidge takes infrastructure profits and looks to commercial property

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Premier head of multi-asset David Hambidge has started to take profits in the infrastructure space in his £680m multi-manager range and is looking to add exposure to commercial property in the coming months.

Hambidge has longstanding holdings in infrastructure names such as the John Laing Infrastructure fund and International Public Partnerships but has trimmed exposure recently.

He says: “We have played infrastructure for four or five years and it is becoming a much more popular space.

“These things are attractive but like all assets they cannot be attractive at any price. We are not saying the current prices are not attractive, we just need to be fairly nimble and flexible with what we own and when we own it.”

The manager adds he intends to “recycle” some of the profits back into infrastructure through issues coming the market. Bilfinger Berger, for example, plans to raise £70m through an upcoming placing.

Hambidge says his portfolios, which include the £174.4m Premier Multi Asset Distribution fund, are likely to see an increase in their commercial property weightings in the next couple of months.

He says: “We like the fact that ex-London prices appear to be bottoming out and returns look relatively attractive compared to bonds. But we have done very well out of the commercial property investment trusts, so we don’t feel any need to chase that too urgently.”

Chase de Vere head of communications Patrick Connolly says his firm’s portfolios have maintained exposure to commercial property but mainly as a diversifier.

He says: “We are not overly optimistic of strong returns from commercial property but it does have the potential to provide better capital protection than both equities and fixed interest in the current environment.”