World expert here just as SA property fever goes global

Property unit trust fans who are in the market for authoritative international knowledge before going global, have struck lucky.

A key speaker at this year’s STANLIB International Investment Conference is here to pass on the information they crave as local property investment supporters increasingly seek global outlets.

Steve Buller, one of the architects of the global property investment strategy of Fidelity Investments of Boston, is in South Africa to explain the dynamics of investment in listed property from North America to Europe to New South Wales and Japan.

He addresses the STANLIB conference on International Property – 2005’s most popular asset class’.

The second annual STANLIB International Investment Conference runs from 18 to 22 July. Presentations will be made in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth.

Dylan Evans, Institutional Marketing Director at STANLIB, noted: “Buller’s visit is ideally timed in view of the phenomenal success of listed property investment in South Africa and the clamour for more information on international property vehicles.

“For the last two years, listed property has good claim to be South Africa’s favourite investment. Returns have consistently outstripped those available from bonds without undue risk. Studies at the end of last year showed that yields on the STANLIB Property Income Fund, Multi-Manager Property Fund, and the STANLIB Institutional Property Fund almost invariably exceeded the net yield on physical property without the challenges of physical property ownership.

“Unfortunately, South Africa’s listed property sector is relatively small. Some local funds have been capped. Listed property fans are increasingly looking to new horizons. The good news is that the international listed property market has been established for a lot longer than the local equivalent. Huge capacity is available and Steve Buller has a world of knowledge at his fingertips as Fidelity is the global leader in the field.”

Buller is portfolio manager and group leader at the Boston operations of Fidelity Investments, the world’s largest investment company.

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