Canada Life has lifted the suspension of redemptions on the Canlife UK Property life and pension funds with effect from 1 September 2016. The decision to suspend its funds was taken on 6 July 2016 following market instability after the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the rise in requests to withdraw or switch from the property funds.
Though conditions in the commercial property market show some stabilisation, property valuations continue to be subject to some uncertainty due to the unknown impact of the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union. Canada Life will continue to apply a fair value adjustment on property values in the fund which seeks to balance the interests of policyholders who may leave the fund with the interests of those that remain.
The level of fair value adjustment takes into account a range of sources including independent valuations of the property market. At the current time, this adjustment is -7% across all £450 million property funds. Canada Life will continue to monitor the need for a fair value adjustment on a weekly basis and will amend the adjustment as new evidence becomes available.
Deferring requests to withdraw allowed Canada Life to protect the interests of all investors in the property fund, including those who plan to remain invested for the medium to long term. The deferral was for up to six months from the date of request, enabling the funds to ensure property values reflect market conditions.
David Marchant, Chief Investment Officer of Canada Life, added:
“We have had two month end pricing valuations since the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union and our decision to defer requests to withdraw investment in the property funds. Real estate investment and occupational transaction activity has been subdued in that time, and the market outlook remains unclear.
“Our external valuers continue to impose a caution to the accuracy of values in the lack of market transparency. However, we have been closely monitoring cash flows within the fund and, following the successful completion of two real estate sales during August, liquidity has been improved to a level which we expect can meet redemption requests and ongoing liquidity requirements”.