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Columbia Threadneedle to resume dealing in UK property fund

LONDON (Reuters) -Investment manager Columbia Threadneedle said on Friday it would allow investors to make withdrawals from a key UK property fund, four months after suspending dealing amid turmoil in Britain's gilt and pensions markets.

Columbia Threadneedle said in October it had suspended dealing in the CT UK Property Authorised Investment Fund and its feeder fund, as market stresses accelerated.

The fund was worth 358 million pounds ($428.96 million) as of Jan. 31, the company said in a statement, down by nearly 100 million pounds since the company's last update in October.

Pension schemes sold real estate assets during a liquidity crisis in September, prompting several open-ended UK real estate funds to place restrictions on withdrawals.

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Funds managing around $18 billion worth of UK real estate had placed restrictions on investor withdrawals as of January.

The CT UK Property Authorised Investment Fund suspensions will be lifted with effect from 12.01 GMT on 28 February, the company said.

In October, Columbia Threadneedle also switched its 2.1 billion pound Threadneedle Pensions Pooled Property Fund to monthly rather than daily withdrawals. A spokesperson said on Friday this change remains in place.

Britain's commercial real estate market has also come under pressure from high inflation and economic uncertainty.

Returns on UK real estate experienced their largest quarterly drop since 2008 in the last quarter of 2022, as interest rates rose and financing conditions tightened, according to MSCI's quarterly UK property index.

($1 = 0.8346 pounds)

(Reporting by Iain Withers and Elizabeth Howcroft, Editing by Jane Merriman)