New Star reopens property fund

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Investors in the New Star International Property fund will finally be able to escape the troubled fund after more than a year of having their assets frozen.

Dealing in the fund was suspended on 25 November 2008, due to heavy redemptions as investors tried to withdraw their money at the start of the credit crisis.

The fund will now reopen on 12 February, following the sale of properties, which has improved liquidity.

Fund manager Mark Carpenter thanked investors for their patience. "The past 18 months has been a difficult period for commercial property internationally," he says.

Large investors with more than a £7.5 million holding will still have restrictions on them to allow the manager greater control over liquidity. They will need to give one-month's written notice should they wish to sell their shares.

The reopening marks a new beginning for property investment, as it is one of the last real estate funds to become liquid again.

The Aviva UK Property fund lifted its restrictions in November, while the Scottish Widows Life Property fund reopened in December.

Investors' appetite for the asset class has also increased lately. Property has been the highest selling Investment Management Association sector for the past two months.

Carpenter is confident his fund not only has a solid liquidity buffer for day-to-day running of the fund now, but will also be able to take advantage of the rosy outlook for property.

"The sharp correction in prices across markets does, I believe, now offer compelling value for long-term investors," he says.

The fund is also managed by Joel Midda, and supported by Henderson's large global property team.