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Atlantic Leaf Properties sees golden opportunity in Brexit


UK-focused Atlantic Leaf Properties Ltd, says the referendum for Britain leaving the European Union (Brexit) could provide a golden opportunity for investors.

Property funds in the UK have started selling flagship buildings inorder to provide liquidity to investors. Investors are more worried about properties in sectors thought to be vulnerable to Brexit, such as London offices.

The referendum outcome, has sent property stocks in the UK such as Capital & Counties Properties, Capital & Regional, Intu Properties and MAS Real Estate, into massive sell-down on the JSE and London Stock Exchange (LSE).

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Local JSE-listed property counters with investments in the UK and greater parts of Europe were among the many casualties. Among those hit is Texton Property Fund, whose stock has fallen by 12.71%.

Also in the firing line is Vukile Property Fund, with jittery investors sending the stock down by 4.12%. Vukile has a 26% stake in Atlantic Leaf worth around R700 million.

Others included, Accelerate Property Fund's stock pulling back by 3.7%, Tower Property Fund at -3.37% and Attacq Limited at -4.02%

The share price of other counters like sector heavyweight Redefine Properties, which is exposed to the UK and Germany through its 30.1% stake in JSE and LSE-listed Redefine International, and retail focused-Rebosis Property Fund, which holds a 62% stake in UK mall owner New Frontier Properties, have both recovered since June.

Recently the Bank of England was warned of the possibility that commercial property funds may be suspended because of the rate of withdrawals prompted by the Brexit vote.

READ: Brexit decision shocks rand-hedge real estate counters

However, Atlantic Leaf said in statement that management believes the uncertainty created, could provide good acquisition opportunities for investors.

On Tuesday, the Mauritius-based property investment group released its financial results for the first quarter of the year ending 28 February 2016.

The company reported adjusted headline earnings per share of 2.34 pence per share for the three months ended 31 May 2016, up 33% from the comparative period in 2015.

CEO Paul Leaf-Wright said said the management is pleased with the results, which are in line with forecasts and keep the company on track to deliver the estimated full year dividend of 8.5 pence per share.

The company has had a busy start to the current financial year, with all acquisitions announced in the previous financial year having now been completed. Atlantic Leaf’s total property assets now stand at £264 million.

In its 2016 full year results, the company also announced that it would be pursuing a migration of its listing from the AltX to the main board of the JSE.

“We are advanced in our plans to migrate to the main board and are liaising regularly with the JSE to satisfy their requirements to implement the move. We will keep shareholders informed of updates,” Shaun Fourie, Head of Asset Management and Operations at Atlantic Leaf said.