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Hedge Funds Pile into REIT Sector Down Under

Jul 29, 2013
Joey Peters

Following recent news of a planned exit by Australian-based Commonwealth bank from its' $20 billion property trust platform, hedge funds have been pouring funds into the country's listed public trust sector, per a new article in the Sydney Morning Herald. As a result, the entire landscape of the country' REIT sector could be shaped by three independent non-executives directors.

Nancy Milne, James Kropp and Richard Haddock, are on the board of Commonwealth Managed Investments Limited (CMIL), which is a subsidiary of the bank and is the responsible entity of shopping centre group CFS Retail Property Trust Group (CFX) and Commonwealth Property Office Fund (CPA), are facing a difficult decision, per the article.

When approached about plans to internalize the management of the bank's listed funds, the above-mentioned subcommittee of three independent directors was selected to consider the proposal. In a statement, the CMIL board said it could not guarantee that the proposal would proceed and that approval from unit holders would be required.

Speculation suggests Hedge funds are banking that Australian-based Property Management Group Dexus could acquire CPA outright with one analyst suggesting in a note to clients it might do this via the establishment of a new wholesale office fund, per the article.

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