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Insight fund has £400m target

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Insight Investment’s new property fund launch was oversubscribed with the placing of £260m (e490) shares with both institutional and retail investors. Originally, Insight, the asset management arm of HBOS, expected to raise £250m for the offshore Insight Foundation Property Trust.
The fund, listed on the Channel Islands and London Stock Exchanges, had a £293m portfolio at launch mid-July. The majority of this the fund acquired from insurer Clerical Medical, also part of HBOS group. The insurer took an equity stake in the fund equal to the assets that were transferred, says Insight.
The new vehicle is a Guernsey domiciled closed-end property investment company, managed by Insight Investment Management (Global). The underlying portfolio of commercial real estate in the office, retail and industrial sectors will be managed by the Insight property team of 43 that currently runs some £4.6bn in real estate assets.
The fund aims to be one of largest listed UK trusts with a target of £400m when fully invested. The 64 properties in the portfolio initially are to be added to with a further £100m in acquisitions “as soon as practicable”, says Insight. The objective is to grow capital in the medium- to long-term through active management.
In addition to the £260m of equity, the fund has £33m of debt. Gearing is expected to be 35% of total assets. A dividend of around 6.75p per share gross is anticipated.

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