26 Nov 2008

National Property Trust considers fire sale

4:32 pm on 26 November 2008

The National Property Trust says it is still considering a fire-sale of its properties and will advise investors of its decision in the New Year.

The trust, which is managed by the troubled financier St Laurence, is deciding its future direction, after investors demanded that it do so at a recent meeting.

The options are a liquidation and sale of all its properties, a possible merger, a capital raising, or the status quo.

Chairman Kevin Podmore is confident the trust can continue to trade and says the trust will consider selling properties as opportunities arise.

But the value of its properties decreased by 4.6% in the September half year, leading to a loss of $9.3 million.

Mr Podmore says the trust's underlying earnings increased, with operating surplus before tax rising 40% to $4.7 million.

He says the trust expects further decreases in the value of its property portfolio, but cannot predict how far it will drop.