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Listed property sector in very good shape

Friday 25th July 2008

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The manager of Kiwi Income Property Trust (KIP) says the listed property sector in New Zealand is "by and large in very good shape," helped by low gearing and demand in main centres, particularly Auckland.

"We're very happy with where the trust is at," said Gavin Parker, chief financial officer at trust manager Kiwi Income Property Ltd. KIP is "at the top end of the market, performing strongly."

The manager is seeking shareholder support for a three-year renewal of its payment structure, under which it uses its performance fee to buy new units issued by KIP. The agreement requires an NZX waiver because the trust and its manager are related parties. Total units held by the manager as a result amount to less than 0.5% of units on issue, Parker said.

Units of KIP have declined 13% this year, outpacing the NZX 50 Index, which is down about 19%. KIP fell 0.9% to $1.16 today.

"There's a preference for aligning yourselves with unitholders," Parker said.

KIP's debt to total assets ratio was 27% in the eyar ended March 31. Total assets rose to $2.1 billion and distributable profit rose 4.9% to NZ$62 million, the trust said in May.

By Jonathan Underhill

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