June 4, 2019 / 9:56 AM / 3 months ago

Woodford fund's shares hit by firm's suspension woes

LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in a listed fund run by high-profile British money manager Neil Woodford tumbled by more than 11% on Tuesday after investors were spooked by the previous day’s suspension of another of his funds.

The Woodford Patient Capital Trust was trading at 67.8 pence a share at 1058 GMT, on course for its biggest daily fall since launching in 2015. It had earlier plunged to a record low of 61.3 pence after investors were blocked from pulling cash from another of Woodford’s funds late on Monday.

Assets under management in the suspended fund, LF Woodford Equity Income Fund, have dwindled amid weak performance while growing concern about its holdings in unlisted companies has also prompted investors to seek an exit in recent weeks.

While Woodford had managed a fall in the Income Fund’s assets from a May 2017 high of 10.2 billion pounds to the current 3.7 billion pounds, a rush of redemptions on Friday and Monday prompted the suspension.

Among those putting in a request to exit was Kent County Council in southern England, a source familiar with the matter said, though its investment of 250 million pounds remained with the fund.

Kent County Council will issue a statement later in the day, a spokeswoman said.

The suspension compounds a tough period for Woodford after a number of favoured investments have chalked up losses in recent months, most recently property company Kier, which issued a profit warning on Monday.

Woodford is the top investor in Kier, owning 20% of the stock, according to Refinitiv Eikon. Kier’s shares were down 6%.

The fund is also top investor in beleaguered doorstep lender Provident Financial, shares of which have shed more than 80% of their value in the past two years. Provident shares were down 0.6% on Tuesday.

Britain’s financial markets regulator said it was in touch with Woodford over the fund suspension.

“The FCA is aware of this situation and in contact with the firms involved to ensure that actions undertaken are in the best interests of all the fund’s investors,” a spokeswoman said.

Others to be hit by the fallout of the suspension include fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown, which holds a stake in the Income Fund across some of its multi-manager portfolios. Its shares were down 4%.

Late on Monday Hargreaves said it had removed the Income Fund from its Wealth 50 list of top fund picks.

Also hit were the shares of some of Woodford’s other big holdings amid concern that he could be forced to sell out of some of his more liquid assets to create cash for when the fund is reopened.

“There’s a clear weakness across most of their major holdings,” one London-based stockbroker said.

Woodford is also the second-biggest investor in Burford Capital and NewRiver Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), shares of which were down 6% and 5.3% respectively.

Additional reporting by Huw Jones and Thyagaraju Adinarayan in London; Editing by David Goodman

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below