Canada Life halts trade of UK property funds after Brexit

Brexit woes have caused investors to want to withdraw their money – which could exhaust cash reserves for life insurers

Canada Life has become one of several companies to halt trading of its UK property funds. The move comes in response to investor worries about the impact of the UK’s recent decision to leave the European Union.

Canada Life, which is now part of Power Financial Corp. as a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco, said its UK property funds are valued at £500 million. But the pound has taken a tumble in the wake of the Brexit vote, reducing the value of UK assets and causing more and more investors to want to withdraw money from property funds.

However, too many fund withdrawals could exhaust cash reserves and force the sale of properties at low prices.

“Given the uncertainty regarding property valuations in the UK, we have acted to restrict transactions in our UK property funds to ensure fairness to both exiting and continuing policyholders,” Canada Life said in a statement.

Canada Life is one of at least six fund managers that have suspended trading on UK property funds.

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