Intu Properties was among the fallers on Tuesday as real estate developers led the FTSE 100 to a one-month low.
Deutsche Bank advised clients to avoid UK property while the consequences of Brexit are unknown. Its base case is for “substantial office moves away from London” as financial services companies preemptively move headcount. “Post speaking to numerous legal and political experts, we think this risk is under-appreciated,” it said.
British Land faded 2.7 per cent to 628.5p and Land Securities was down 2.4 per cent to £10.14, while Derwent London slid 2.7 per cent to £25.73. “Trading at a 22 per cent discount to net asset value, the sector is already pricing in risk but we see 30 per cent potential additional downside to [London] office-exposed shares,” said Deutsche Bank.
In a UK downturn, Intu will be vulnerable because its portfolio of second-tier shopping centres has already been weakened by retail sales moving online, continued the broker.
“We see a strong case for prime, well-positioned assets in high-density locations becoming more valuable over time as they become increasingly valuable as ‘customer touch points’ for retailers,” said the bank. “We see a risk that the next macro downturn accelerates the deterioration of secondary retail, with it becoming harder over time to catch up.”
Intu lost 2.1 per cent to 289.2p as the wider market slipped for a third straight day. The FTSE 100 ended 0.5 per cent lower, down 35.27 points at 6,665.63.
Online grocer Ocado — London’s most shorted stock, with nearly 25 per cent of its free float on loan — dropped more than 13 per cent to 278p after cautioning that it was seeing “sustained and continuing margin pressure”.
Anglo American was weakest among the miners, losing 4.4 per cent to 783.8p, after South Africa’s revenue service billed its Kumba iron ore subsidiary R1bn for the 2011 tax year. Kumba is already disputing a R5.5bn bill covering the four years to 2010. News of a smelter leak at AngloPlat, Anglo’s platinum subsidiary, provided another setback for the miner.
Among the gainers, Coca-Cola HBC took on 1.2 per cent to £16.49 after being added to Jefferies’ “buy” list. CCH is “attractively positioned to take advantage of acquisition opportunities, including transformational deals in Africa,” it said. “In the event that deals do not materialise, we see the business returning cash to shareholders through special dividends.”
Compass firmed 0.6 per cent to £14.25. Late in the day JPMorgan Cazenove upgraded the caterer to “overweight” with a £15.80 target price.
Sample the FT’s top stories for a week
You select the topic, we deliver the news.