AIMS Property fund chairman thanks unitholders for siding with management

AIMS Property Fund chairman George Wang also said the fund is "strategically positioned" to take advantage of a downturn in the Australian commercial real estate market, which has begun to show signs of weakening.
AIMS Property Fund chairman George Wang also said the fund is "strategically positioned" to take advantage of a downturn in the Australian commercial real estate market, which has begun to show signs of weakening.PHOTO: AIMS PROPERTY SECURITIES FUND

SINGAPORE - The chairman of dual-listed AIMS Property Securities Fund, George Wang, thanked unitholders for siding with management and rejecting the latest attempt by Australian investment firms Samuel Terry Asset Management and Sandon Capital to wind up the fund.

In a letter to unitholders on Friday (Dec 14), Mr Wang said that every time activist unitholders attempt to wind up the fund, it consumes "immense amounts of labour and cash resources", which he argued will be better spent on gaining returns.

"Every windup attempt costs the fund and our unitholders a few hundred thousand dollars, which I personally feel is very painful and unfair," he wrote.

"They are trying to take advantage of all our unitholders' long-term benefits for their own short-term goals."

AIMS-related unitholders have leaned on their substantial voting block to stymie previous winding-up attempts, including Samuel Terry's first such bid in January 2017.

In their latest attempt, Samuel Terry and Sandon Capital had requisitioned a unitholders' meeting in late October to wind up the fund, citing dissatisfaction with issues such as a trading discount to the net asset value and portfolio allocation to related-party investments.

In the letter, Mr Wang also thanked unitholders for supporting the fund management and keeping the fund going.

He said the fund is "strategically positioned" to take advantage of a downturn in the Australian commercial real estate market, which has begun to show signs of weakening.

The tightening of bank lending is expected to "play a large role" in the downturn of commercial real estate market on the continent, said Mr Wang. As such, the fund is expecting the next few years to present "exceptional investment opportunities" that meet its long-term capital growth strategy, he wrote.