The formal exit of United Kingdom from the European Union might be in limbo but the economic tremors are being felt within the economy and today, in a dramatic move, Standard Life has suspended trading in its UK property fund worth a whopping £2.9 billion. The company has stated that due to the "exceptional market circumstances" that is prevalent at this time. The company also released a statement in which it stated, "The suspension was requested to protect the interests of all investors in the fund,". However, something that would certainly alarm the general public and stakeholders in the British economy is the fact that it is an extreme step and it was only after the 2008 economic meltdown that Standard Life had resorted to suspension of trading in order to preserve the value of the assets in the fund.
According to a report in the BBC, "The £2.9bn fund invests in a mixture of commercial real estate in the UK, including office blocks and industrial space. The move comes after Standard Life Investments, the insurer's fund management arm, wrote down the value of the fund by 5% last week, saying the Brexit vote had "negatively impacted" valuations for UK commercial property. It said the suspension would end "as soon as practicable" and it would review the decision every 28 days."
BBC's business correspondent Simon Jack said, "Most investment funds always leave a bit of ready cash in the kitty in case the odd investor decides he or she wants their money back.When a lot of people want their money back at the same time, you have to start selling stuff to raise enough cash and that is a major problem if what you own is office blocks.They are not easy to sell at short notice. Other investors, who hadn't really wanted their money back, now think they might not be able to - and so they suddenly do want it back."