Aviva to close three UK property funds hit by pandemic market turmoil

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - Insurer Aviva said it will close in July three UK property funds that have been suspended since March last year due to market turmoil as the pandemic hit Britain’s economy.

“During this period of economic uncertainty, it has become increasingly challenging to generate positive returns whilst also providing the necessary liquidity to re-open the funds,” Aviva said in a statement late on Wednesday.

A strategic review of the funds that began in January has concluded that it would now be in investors’ interests to wind up the funds and return cash to investors in a fair and orderly manner, Aviva said. The funds will continue to be suspended until they are closed on July 19.

Several UK property funds were suspended by fund houses last March after managers said valuers could no longer be confident in assigning values to commercial real estate such as shops, offices and industrial property as the coronavirus outbreak gathered pace. Most of those funds have now reopened.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Susan Fenton