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SLB acquires 20% stake in UK fund management business for £90,000

PROPERTY developer SLB Development on Tuesday said it has exercised its option to subscribe for a 20 per cent stake in Pinnacle Investment Management Limited (PIML) for £90,000 (S$158,385).

PIML, which aims to build funds focused on the private rented sector (PRS) across the UK, is the fund management subsidiary of UK-based Pinnacle Investments (Holdings) and Pinnacle Group.

Following shareholders' approval obtained last September to diversify SLB's business into fund management, the group made a maiden investment of £2 million into UK residential fund, Pinnacle Residential Fund, which is managed by PIML. The investment was made through SLB's subsidiary, SLB Starcap. 

"The Pinnacle Residential Fund is acquiring assets across the UK in areas where supply and demand is most dislocated and that exhibit good prospects for economic growth," SLB said. 

Matthew Ong, executive director and chief executive of SLB, said: "The diversification of our business into fund management has proven to be a winning strategy through the creation of new and recurring income streams for sustained growth."

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He added: "Despite uncertainties from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and outcome of Brexit, we remain optimistic about the housing market and investment demand in the UK, especially in the long term.

"The UK PRS, backed by strong fundamentals underpinned by demographic growth and favourable supply-demand dynamics, has been a steady source of income even in tough times."

According to Knight Frank's UK Residential Market Forecast 2020–2024 report, the UK PRS is projected to reach £75 billion by 2025, SLB said. 

It added that amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK PRS has proven "resilient", as research firm Savills predicts that there will likely be no significant impact on rental values in the short term for the UK PRS.

Catalist-listed SLB is the spin-off of mainboard-listed construction company Lian Beng Group

Separately on June 8, controlling shareholder Lian Beng raised its stake in SLB to 76.2 per cent, up from 75.8 per cent.

As at 1.32pm on Tuesday, shares in Lian Beng were trading at S$0.41, up S$0.01 or 2.5 per cent. Meanwhile, shares in SLB last traded at 11.1 Singapore cents on June 11.

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