Freestone rolls back

Posted On Tuesday, 23 August 2005 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Listed property loan stock company Freestone Property Holdings, formerly Arnold Property Fund (A-Prop), can definitely be called the "comeback kid" of the listed property sector.

Property-Housing-ResidentialWidely regarded as a write-off two years ago, the company is back and healthy and looking to put together a debt-securitisation programme. As A-Prop, it suffered a substantial loss in the value of its linked units since listing in 2001, as well as a decline in net asset value.

Early last year, a report-back by a committee appointed by A-Prop’s board concluded that, among other factors, the drop in value could be attributed to an ineffectual due-diligence process before it was listed.

This resulted in the overvaluation of acquisitions, among other undesirable consequences.

New management, brought on board at the request of shareholders, has since turned the company around. The renamed Freestone, jointly managed by Corovest and RMB Properties, is expected to start showing distribution increases from next year.

The company has also managed to slash borrowings from a massive 88% of the total value of the property portfolio two years ago to 51%.

This brings the borrowings in line with other listed property funds in the sector.

Management says if debt securitisation is viable, it will be put in place by March.

Listed property loan stock company iFour was the first company to come to the market with a commercial mortgage-backed securities programme.

Following the launch of this programme in October last year, analysts said the market could expect other listed property funds to start following suit.

Commercial mortgage-backed securities programmes reduce the costs associated with the existing and future financing activities of property companies.

If Freestone decides to come to the market with such a programme, it will have the benefit of obtaining guidance from Rand Merchant Bank because of its close links to RMB Properties.

Last modified on Monday, 05 May 2014 19:15

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