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Forestry Fund launched

Five forests in the west of Scotland are being acquired for £12 million by asset manager Gresham House after its new Forestry Fund first closed with an initial £15m of commitments and finance. The company is targeting a final close for the fund in H2 2017 at £50m. The Gresham House Forestry Fund will target net returns of 10 per cent per annum, which includes an expected annual income distribution of two per cent to four per cent from timber sales. Richard Davidson, formerly chief investment officer and chief European equity strategist for Morgan Stanley, will manage the fund with support from the Gresham House dedicated forestry team.

Mr Davidson said: “As a medium to long term investment, forestry is generally low risk as it is underpinned by unique return drivers: trees grow both in volume and value as they mature and a looming supply shortfall of timber in the UK will, we believe, push up timber prices. On top of that, renewable energy projects such as wind farms have provided an alternative income source. Unsurprisingly forestry’s historic returns, ESG credentials and tax incentives have piqued investors’ interest. While once considered a niche investment, UK forestry is emerging from the shadows into the mainstream investment landscape.”

The Herald | 31.10.16

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