UK - Negative investor sentiment towards UK property has driven the F&C Commercial Property trust to convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to decide on its own future.

Although F&C spokesman Jason Hollands acknowledged "sentiment is moving against the sector", he suggested the vote was largely a formality - the result of a self-imposed condition set when the vehicle launched in March 2005 to vote on continuation if the discount fell below 5% for 90 consecutive days.

The Guernsey-based trust's 53% shareholder, Friends Provident, has already indicated it will vote for continuation.

In the past, the board has opted for share buy-backs as a means of controlling the discount but whether it would do so this time was "a matter for them to consider if and when they do", said Hollands.
F&C's optimism lies in the fact that its portfolio is weighted in buoyant central London prime office. However, almost 40% of its portfolio is made up of properties outside the relatively prosperous southeast.

Retail holdings - which make up 20% of the portfolio - have performed less well, partly because upward rent reviews are taking time to settle.