Withdrawals hit Standard Life Aberdeen property fund

Investors have withdrawn tens of millions from a Standard Life Aberdeen UK property fund following the suspension of an M&G fund earlier this week, according to Morningstar data.

Daily outflows from the £1.3 billion Aberdeen UK Property Fund reached £31 million on Wednesday alone, the day M&G announced the suspension of the M&G Property Portfolio.

This nearly equals the outflows for the past four months combined, according to estimates from Morningstar.

Standard Life Aberdeen declined initial comment on the level of outflows — but told trade publications it is monitoring the situation closely.

The outflows increased fears of a repeat of the fund suspensions that engulfed the property sector after the EU referendum in 2016.

Standard Life Aberdeen said its fund would maintain its cautious Brexit stance until there was “greater clarity on the outlook for the UK economy in the context of Brexit and the upcoming general election.”

AJ Bell head of active portfolios Ryan Hughes said: “This is what we saw in 2016.

“Investors try to get out quickly because they are worried about being the last ones left in the fund and getting out at below market price.”

Ratings agency Fitch said: “The suspension of redemptions in the M&G Property Portfolio could precipitate outflows from other commercial real estate funds as investors seek to redeem holdings before other funds potentially implement extraordinary liquidity control mechanisms …

“Without such measures, more UK commercial real estate funds may have to impose extraordinary liquidity measures, particularly given the backdrop of the Brexit process and the negative outlook for the commercial real estate sector.”