The GPT Group has become the first Australian fund manager to write down the value of assets in two of its largest wholesale funds – by a total of A$694m (€392.8m) – in response to the adverse impact of COVID-19.
GPT told investors that all properties in the GPT Wholesale Office Fund (GWOF) dropped by 2% or A$183m and the GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund (GWSCF) had 11% or A$515m trimmed from its valuation as at 31 March 2020.
GPT’s CEO, Bob Johnston, said: “The asset revaluations recorded by GWOF and GWSCF reflect the independent valuers’ assessment of the effects that COVID-19 and the measures being implemented by Federal and State governments are having on economic activity.”
The reduction in office valuations reflected was driven by lower near-term rental growth assumptions, GPT said.
One of the country’s largest office funds, GWOF owns 17 assets in capital cities valued at A$8.8bn before the latest revaluation. GPT‘s ownership interest in GWOF is 22.9%.
The GWSCF owns seven large regional shopping malls around Australia. These were valued at A$4.8bn pre-COVID-19. GPT’ has a 28.5% stake in GWSCF.
GPT said the decline in book value of GWSCF took into account largely the result of a softening in the assumptions for market rental growth, restricted trading conditions and vacancy downtime with government-imposed lockdowns to combat the pandemic.
The company said all group investment properties would be revalued again independently as at 30 June 2020.