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Fund manager takes over Paramount trust

Monday 18th August 2003

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Fund manager ING is buying 50% of the share capital of Paramount Property Trust management company and will take over running the publicly listed trust from Symphony Investments.

ING managing director Paul Fyfe says by combining the property skills of Symphony the funds management and property administration experience of ING the trust will e able to grow and manage larger acquisitions than it has in the past.

Since listing last December the trust has bought the Liggins Research Building in Grafton and the ANZ Building in Newmarket collectively valued at more than $29 million.

ING will assume responsibility for the administration of the trust, as well as for the day-to-day management of the trust's properties.

In addition, it will be responsible for all administration requirements of the trust, including compliance, and investor, trustee and other stakeholder relationships. Symphony personnel will focus on property sourcing and acquisition, structuring of transactions and banker relationships.

The trust will keep its first right of refusal agreement with Symphony which provides the trust with access to new and refurbished quality investments at discounted prices.

The agreement will remain in place for as long as Symphony holds at least 50% of the management company.

Once it takes over on September 1, it will rename the fund the ING Property Trust.

ING managing director Paul Fyfe says the move fits with the company's strategy to provide a more fully diversified range of financial services in New Zealand.

"As one of the world's largest property owners and managers, a core part of ING's business is the management of listed property trusts. In New Zealand, ING already has a very strong reputation for managing real estate, and it is a natural extension of our business to undertake management of a listed real estate vehicle.

ING also manages the unlisted MFL property fund.

ING general manager property, Andy Evans, will be appointed managing director of the management company. He replaces the general manager role formerly held by Symphony's employee Gary Noland.

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