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AMP puts property fund in the freezer

Friday 1st August 2008

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AMP Capital has frozen redemptions from its $420 million New Zealand Property Fund. The AMP Capital Fund invests in an underlying direct commercial property portfolio as well as some listed property trusts.

According to an AMP Capital statement, the fund was frozen due to "extraordinary market conditions" leading to a run on redemptions.

In the statement, Murray Gribben, AMP Capital managing director, said the suspension of redemptions - which could last up to one year plus a potential further two-year period to actually redeem investments after the freeze is lifted - was a "prudent response" to market conditions.

"In the current market, where investors are looking to reduce their exposure to property investments, we believe we are acting in the best interests of investors by temporarily suspending activity to preserve the quality of the fund," Gribben said in the statement.

He said the underlying portfolio of office, retail and industrial property has an occupancy rate of 96% "and includes the government sector as the single largest tenant on long-term leases".

AMP NZ Office Trust (ANZO) has also released a statement assuring its unit-holders that the announcement made by AMP Capital has no bearing on ANZO's performance, operations, investments and the ability of investors to freely trade in its listed securities.

ANZO is the largest investor in prime commercial office property listed on the NZX.

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