U.K. Property Stocks at Highs Before Earnings Reports
Shares in the U.K.'s four largest real estate companies rose to all-time highs today as the companies prepare to report their quarterly earnings and investors expect the value of the companies' holdings to rise.
Land Securities Group Plc, Europe's largest property company which owns offices and malls, gained 31 pence, or 1.5 percent, to 2,096 pence, valuing it at 9.8 billion pounds ($18.7 billion.) The shares have jumped 26 percent this year.
``You have a red-hot investment market and these companies are still trading at a discount to their net asset value,'' said Ben Ritchie, who helps oversee more than $6 billion of stocks at Aberdeen Asset Management Plc, including the four biggest U.K. property companies. ``Each time we get closer to a valuation update these stocks push ahead.''
Land Securities and British Land Co., Europe's second-largest real estate company, are both reporting fiscal first-half earnings in the middle of November. Britain's largest companies are planning to convert to real estate investment trusts when they are introduced in the U.K. in January.
British Land, which also owns malls and offices, gained 17 pence, or 1.2 percent, to 1,495 pence. The stock has surged 40 percent this year. Liberty International Plc, which owns U.K. shopping centers, rose 1.4 percent to 1,344 pence, taking the year's increase to 37 percent.
Hammerson shares closed 1 percent, or 13 pence, higher at 1,347 pence. Its stock has risen 32 percent this year, more than the 31 percent advance in the FTSE 350 Real Estate Index.
In the United States, the Bloomberg REIT Index of 146 stocks has risen 26 percent this year.
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