5 Feb 2009

Guardian investors vote to wind up fund

9:04 am on 5 February 2009

Guardian Trust is shying away from saying exactly when it will repay 3,700 investors the $249 million they are owed.

Investors voted on Wednesday wind up the Guardian Mortgage Fund, which has been suspended since July, allowing the trust to start making repayments.

However the trust warns it could be two or three years before the fund is fully wound up depending on how long it takes to cash-in the mortgages.

The trust has about $50 million in cash in the mortgage fund which will provide a buffer for repayments.

The impact of the global financial crisis and falling property values, and increased provisions for bad debt has hit returns to investors, which fell to 6% last year, and is likely to be just 3% in the first quarter of this year.

Guardian Trust's new managing director Greg Campbell said any definite timeframe for winding up the fund is speculation given the economic crisis.

He said it could be a tough process involving refinancing mortgages or property sales.

Mr Campbell said the managers will try to cash-in the mortgages at the best price.