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Unloved Malls Plague Top U.K. Property Funds

The Lakeside shopping centre, operated by Intu Properties Plc, in Thurrock, U.K.

The Lakeside shopping centre, operated by Intu Properties Plc, in Thurrock, U.K.

Photographer: CHRIS RATCLIFFE
Updated on

Mom-and-pop investors are fleeing U.K. property funds at the fastest pace in more than two years, roiling an almost $24 billion-corner of the money management industry.

Withdrawals from the biggest U.K. property funds accelerated in the final months of 2018 as the global equity market rout added to worries about Brexit and the floundering retail sector. That’s forcing several funds, including those managed by Standard Life Aberdeen Plc and Nuveen LLC, to sell real estate to meet client redemptions. Trouble is, many of the firms have already sold the family silver and now are left with assets few want.