U.K. Property Stocks Gain, Led by Investment Trusts

U.K. real estate stocks, led by Land Securities Group Plc and British Land Co., posted their biggest gain in more than seven months after lagging behind broader equity indexes this year.

The FTSE 350 Real Estate Index rose 2.8 percent in London. The five property companies in the FTSE 100 index were among the 10 best performers in the benchmark U.K. stock index today.

``U.K. property stocks have been oversold,'' said Harm Meijer, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in London. Land Securities, British Land and Liberty International look ``cheap,'' he said.

U.K. real estate stocks outpaced the FTSE 100 index for seven straight years to the end of 2006. The FTSE 350 Real Estate Index has fallen 6.4 percent this year, compared with the FTSE 100 Index's 1 percent drop, on concern that commercial property prices may have peaked and U.K. consumers are curbing spending.

Shares of Land Securities rose 56 pence, or 2.8 percent, to 2067 pence, paring this year's decline to 11 percent. British Land's shares gained 48 pence, or 3.3 percent, to 1,518 pence, reducing the drop for 2007 to 11.1 percent. Liberty's shares rose 25 pence, or 2.1 percent, to 1,225 pence. The stock has fallen 6.6 percent this year.

Land Securities and British Land are Europe's largest real estate investment trusts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at pwoodifield@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Urban at robprag@bloomberg.net.

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