UK/EUROPE - Invista European Real Estate Trust SICAF is suspending dividend payments in a bid to conserve cash and to deleverage the company.

The Trust is suspending interim dividend payments for the fiscal year ended September 2008 and throughout the fiscal year ending September 2009, in an attempt to reduce debt following falling property values and higher financing costs, said Tom Chandos, chairman of Invista European Real Estate Trust.

"Despite ongoing progress with the portfolio and the agreement on terms of our refinancing, we have decided to adopt a very cautious approach and preserve the Company's cash by suspending dividend payments from now until the end of the financial year. We believe that these measures, combined with the Group's active management initiatives, will support the business until markets recover."

The firm said it plans to review its dividend policy regularly and today announced the refinancing of its three-year senior debt facility with the Bank of Scotland has been completed.

At 30 September 30 2008 the Trust's portfolio was valued at €697.9m but admitted this had decreased by 5.7% over the third quarter while its unaudited adjusted net asset value was €2.33 per share - a decrease of 16.1% over the quarter.

The trust has a total of 52 properties and invests in commercial property sectors across seven countries, focusing on liquid, transparent and mature West European markets like France and Germany.

Invista European Real Estate Trusts SICAF is a closed-ended investment company domiciled in Luxembourg managed by Invista Real Estate Investment Management, the largest listed real estate fund management group in the UK.