In brief

Norway targets indirect property

Norway’s government pension fund has published longawaited guidelines allowing the £300bn fund to invest 5% of its equity in real estate. The fund is switching the cash out of fixed income investments. It is thought that the fund’s manager, Norges Bank Investment Management, will put all £15bn into unlisted property funds in the UK and Europe. Norway’s finance ministry first announced that it was considering investing in property two years ago.

Budget break for REITs

REITs received a boost in the Budget, which proposed to allow stock dividends to count towards their requirement to distribute 90% of earnings to shareholders. Currently only cash dividends count toward this distribution. The change will enable REITs to conserve cash to fund working capital requirements, but the measure will not be enacted until the next parliamentary session.

Property bankers forge links

The Association of Property Bankers is looking at ways of expanding its links with the wider property industry, according to president Andrew Goodbody. One idea being considered is setting up a financial/debt-focused special interest group with the Investment Property Forum.

MedicX gains £24.7m injection

Quoted UK healthcare property investor MedicX Fund has raised £24.7m from a placing and new shares offer, at a price of 72p per share. The proceeds will be used to buy purpose-built primary healthcare properties leased to GPs, health trusts and councils. Pinsent Masons’ corporate property team advised the fund. The sponsor and book-runner was Collins Stewart Europe.