CRT prop­erty value ‘may fall’

Canal Boat - - News -

THE CANAL & RIVER Trust’s com­mer­cial in­vest­ments have been given an over­all clean bill of health by the Pro­tec­tor – but he has flagged-up an un­cer­tain fu­ture.

The Trust owns some £750m of com­mer­cial prop­erty (for ex­am­ple, from water­side busi­ness de­vel­op­ments) which brings in some­thing of the or­der of £ 50m a year in rentals, in ad­di­tion to any prof­its from buy­ing and sell­ing prop­erty.

Un­der the terms of the 2012 trans­fer from the na­tion­alised Bri­tish Wa­ter­ways to the char­i­ta­ble sec­tor, the Pro­tec­tor is ap­pointed jointly by the Gov­ern­ment and the Trust to check that Re­turns are max­imised with­out tak­ing un­due risk The value in­creases in real terms Pro­ceeds are used con­sis­tently with CRT’s ob­jec­tives Risk is man­aged con­sis­tently with CRT’s obli­ga­tions The Pro­tec­tor’s lat­est an­nual re­port notes that the value in­creased from £714.8m to £752.7m; that prop­er­ties sold re­alised 54 per­cent above their value at the start of the pe­riod; and that the to­tal re­turn, at 13.7 per­cent, beat the mar­ket fig­ure of 11.1 per­cent.

On the down­side, the part of CRT’s in­vest­ments which had been moved away from prop­erty (as part of di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion plans) lost 2.8 per­cent of its value; prop­erty re­sults were down on the pre­vi­ous two years’ good re­sults (al­though still ahead of fore­cast); and fol­low­ing the EU vote, there are con­cerns that the prop­erty mar­ket may suf­fer.

De­spite this, the sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of CRT in­come com­ing from long-du­ra­tion low-risk ground rents would be ex­pected to cush­ion the im­pact of such a fall.

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