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Great Portland becomes second firm to cut forecast due to Brexit

(Adds analyst comments, details, context, share move)

Nov 17 (Reuters) - Great Portland Estates (Other OTC: GPEAF - news) on Thursday became the second property firm focused on offices in London to cut its full-year rental growth forecast due to the uncertainty after Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

Shares (Berlin: DI6.BE - news) in Great Portland, whose portfolio is dominated by offices but also includes some retail and residential property, fell as much as 3.2 percent on Thursday and were 2.6 percent lower at 612 pence at 0950 GMT.

The company said it expected annual rental values to be unchanged to 5 percent lower in the year to the end of March, down from an earlier forecast of growth of about 5 percent.

In August, Derwent London Plc (LSE: DLN.L - news) , a central London office developer, cut its full-year rental growth forecast to 1 percent-5 percent from 5 percent-8 percent.

The June 23 vote to leave the European Union has jolted Britain's 900 billion pound ($1.1 trillion) commercial property market, prompting the suspension at one point of commercial property funds worth more than 18 billion pounds.

Some investor appetite has since started to return as several property funds have reopened, developers have committed to projects initially put on hold and property valuers have dropped Brexit uncertainty clauses from valuation reports.

However, comments from UK developers so far this earnings season indicate that since the vote the office rental market has underperformed both the retail and industrial market on concerns that financial firms will move jobs to Europe.

"We expect lower forecast GDP and employment growth, combined with some businesses deferring investment decisions, to have an adverse impact on our occupational markets," Great Portland Estate said in a statement.

The company also reported a 4 percent fall in EPRA net assets per share - a measure of the value of its properties - to 813 pence per share for the six months to Sept. 30.

That was worse than declines seen by British Land (LSE: BLND.L - news) and Land Securities and 1 percent below a forecast by Liberum analysts.

"Resilience isn't as good as consensus buyers relied on," Jefferies analysts wrote in a client note, keeping their "hold" rating on the stock. (Reporting by Esha Vaish and Rahul B in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely and David Clarke)

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