Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.

 

Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.

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UK retail property values to drop 20% in 2018

UK retail property values to drop 20% in 2018

The UK’s five largest property funds stand to risk billions of pounds invested in the country’s struggling retail sector

According to the Financial Times, the ongoing retail crisis is reportedly predicted to see retail properties in the UK drop by 20% in value by end of 2019.

This would mean the collective exposure of the UK’s five largest property funds, including M&G Property Portfolio, L&G UK Property, Standard Life UK Real Estate, Janus Henderson UK Property PAIF and Aberdeen UK Property would stand at $5.1bn.

According to a recent report by asset manager Fidelity International on the state of the UK retail’s real estate sector, property values are set to take a 20-70% drop, which will be driven by a 10% to 40% reduction in rents to make them more appealing to retailers.

It added that around 41% of UK non-listed real estate portfolios are made up of retail assets, leaving huge swathes of their multi-billion estates at risk. This compares to around 25% in other key retail markets. This was supported by analysts at Jefferies who predicted general retail property values to drop 20.4% throughout 2019, including an 18.7% drop in retail warehouses.

Meanwhile, analysts from Barclays have predicted an 11.4% drop in retail property values next year, and a further 10.8% drop the year after that. Leading property funds are still delivering positive returns for the time being and potential investors are growing increasingly cautious about investing in the UK’s retail property market.

Furthermore, the growing number of retailers entering into a CVA, which can force landlords to significantly reduce their rents, is starting to eat away at capital values and encouraging property funds to offload assets likely to succumb to insolvencies.

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