|Bid||165.05 x N/A|
|Ask||165.20 x N/A|
|Day's Range||152.95 - 168.75|
|52 Week Range||86.40 - 11,395.00|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||N/A|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||2.80|
|Earnings Date||Mar. 10, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.24 (15.99%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Apr. 16, 2020|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
One thing we could say about the analysts on M&G plc (LON:MNG) - they aren't optimistic, having just made a major...
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In investing as in comedy, timing is everything — a lesson holders of U.K. property funds are about to (re)learn at their cost. In the wake of the U.K.’s 2016 referendum to leave the European Union, British property funds were among the investments quickest to suffer as asset managers trapped $23 billion by halting redemptions in seven funds. With the global pandemic threatening to trash the economy, U.K. real estate vehicles are again at the vanguard of illiquidity — casting renewed doubts over their suitability as investments that offer daily withdrawal rights.Aviva Plc, Legal & General Group Plc and Columbia Threadneedle Investments are among firms that have frozen redemptions from funds overseeing about $13 billion of U.K. real estate this week. With the Association of Real Estate Funds citing “material valuation uncertainty,” and the Financial Conduct Authority saying “a fair and reasonable valuation of commercial real estate funds cannot be established” — both statements made on Wednesday — there’s a real prospect that the entire U.K. property fund sector may close for withdrawals in the coming days.The funds that have gated cover the gamut of property classes and geography, according to their most recent fact sheets. That suggests the market dislocation is widespread and not just restricted to, say, shopping malls. The Legal & General fund has 35% of its assets in industrial property, compared with less than 5% for the Aviva fund, for example. About 10% of the latter’s portfolio, meantime, is in London, compared with just 0.4% of the Threadneedle fund’s assets.New rules proposed by the FCA last year compelling fund managers to suspend redemptions if there’s “material uncertainty” about the value of 20% or more of a funds’ real estate holdings were due to come into force later this year. Asset managers clearly aren’t hanging around in the current climate for their cash holdings to be depleted by investors demanding repayment. Time and again, the hard to sell nature of office buildings and shops and warehouses, compared with the almost frictionless markets for stocks and bonds, keeps catching the fund management industry out. Investors in a 2.5 billion-pound ($3 billion) fund run by M&G Plc have been locked in since December, when the firm said it faced “unusually high and sustained outflows,” which it was struggling to meet.As I argued then, while it’s clearly desirable for retail investors to have different ways of investing in bricks and mortar, the illiquidity of real estate is incompatible with the pretense that such vehicles can be redeemed on a daily basis. Regulators need to provide official cover for asset managers to drop their pledge to let customers take their money out on a continuous basis; three- or six-month lockups make a lot more sense, provided the industry moves in lockstep. On the basis you should never let a good crisis go to waste, it’s time for the regulators to resolve the timing mismatch between the funds and their underlying asset transactions — albeit too late for the U.K. investors who currently have savings trapped in shuttered funds for the foreseeable future.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering asset management. He previously was the London bureau chief for Bloomberg News. He is also the author of "Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Dan Loeb’s Third Point LLC says it has a history of working constructively with boards to promote the success of their companies. The activist’s latest goal seems to involve removing the board of Prudential Plc entirely, and dismantling the head office around it, as part of a breakup of the $48 billion insurer.That may not be as hard as it sounds.Once focused on Britain, Prudential has transformed into a large Asian insurer with a smaller U.S. business attached. Its shares suffer under a stark valuation discount to Hong Kong-listed peer AIA Group Ltd., and Loeb has set out a plausible explanation for why. The reason, he says, is that the Asian side needs capital to grow, but competes with shareholders for dividends. Likewise, the U.S. business would be better off conserving cash in support of its own capital strength. Meanwhile, most investors don’t want to invest in an Asian-U.S. hybrid insurer.The remedy sounds simple: Split Prudential into separate U.S. and Asian businesses with their own stock listings and dividend policies. The Asian shares would probably command a much higher valuation than whole the group does now, providing an acquisition currency that would be a cheap source of growth capital. At the same time, scrapping the conglomerate structure would eliminate the need for a costly corporate center based in London.None of this is likely to be a huge surprise to Prudential’s directors. The board has already been simplifying the company, mainly by spinning off the M&G Plc asset management business. That move has failed to address the valuation gap, so the next logical step would be to jettison the U.S. subsidiary and become a pure Asia play. Prudential’s chairman, Paul Manduca, is retiring next year anyway, and Chief Executive Officer Mike Wells has been in the role for five years. Manduca’s successor, banker and former government minister Shriti Vadera, has a chance to be radical.The real opponents to Loeb’s ideas are more likely to be found among Prudential’s long-term investors. Third Point is a new arrival taking on a longstanding problem. But Prudential has a large number of U.K. investors whose own narrow interests may be served by keeping it in its current form, paying high dividends via a London-listed share. Recall that consumer giant Unilever NV encountered huge resistance to an attempt to simplify its structure in 2018, while plumbing group Ferguson Plc is moving with extreme care about a possible re-domicile for the same reason.Loeb argues Prudential in two pieces would be worth twice what it is today. He may be right, but if a breakup involves a dividend cut along the way, it won’t be plain sailing.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.