Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Sunday, Jan 29, 2023

The SEC is reaching out to Blackstone and Starwood after the real-estate giants limited investors' withdrawals from their funds, report says

The SEC is reaching out to Blackstone and Starwood after the real-estate giants limited investors' withdrawals from their funds, report says

The SEC is trying to understand the firms' processes for limiting redemptions, and what effects the moves could have on the market.

Blackstone and Starwood Capital Group are drawing attention from the Securities and Exchange Commission for their recent moves to limit the ability of individual investors to take their money out of the companies' real estate investment trusts, according to Bloomberg.

The real estate funds have recently seen a surge in withdrawal requests amid a broad drop in investor sentiment and potential economic downturn. This led both private equity giants to pause redemptions after monthly and quarterly withdrawal limits were reached.

Investors in and outside of the funds took notice, as has, apparently, the SEC. The regulatory agency reached out to both Blackstone and Starwood this month to assess the market impact and specific circumstances of the pauses, according to Bloomberg, which cited multiple anonymous sources. 

The agency was looking into how the firms served redemptions to their clients, and if any affiliates of the two companies sold their shares before the clients, according to one of the sources. The inquiries are not indications that either firm is under investigation or committed any wrongdoing, the report said.

Representatives for Blackstone and the SEC declined to comment to Insider. A spokesperson for Starwood did not return requests for comment on Friday.

Individual investors deal a blow to Blackstone's stock

Blackstone launched the Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, known in the industry as BREIT, in 2017 as a way to cater to rich individuals — beyond the firm's typical large institutional client — who were in search of better returns in what was then a near-zero-interest rate world.  

By the assets that flowed into the fund, it was a success. It has amassed $68 billion, and last year the firm looked to replicate the fund for private-credit investors with the Blackstone Private Credit Fund, known as BCRED.

But this year has brought challenges as the real estate market sours and more investors are turning bearish. Bill Katz, a research analyst at Credit Suisse who tracks Blackstone, raised concern over the funds' growth in a report to clients and downgraded the stock to the equivalent of a "sell" rating. Blackstone shares are down 21% in the past month, compared with a 3% drop for the S&P 500.

In recent statements to Insider, a Blackstone representative said BREIT returns have been strong. The fund has posted a return of 8.4% so far this year and a three-year annualized return of 14.9%, according to its website, representing respectable performance to some analysts.

"In response to BREIT redemption limits, our experts agree that the fund is delivering on its mandate from both a performance and liquidity perspective," Morgan Stanley research analysts said in a report to clients on Friday.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Preparations begin for Spring Festival travel rush
Domestic COVID-19 drug effective in trial
HK to see a full recovery, John Lee says in New Year message
Bargain hunters flock to last day of Hong Kong brands and products expo
Hong Kong aims for January 8 reopening of border with mainland China
Chinese Revenge Travelers Will Steer Clear of a Hostile US
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
2023 Will Be the Year of the Electric SUV
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules