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UK industry body says property funds may need to suspend themselves

LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Property funds should suspend themselves if they can no longer properly assess the value of the real estate assets they hold, a British funds industry trade body said on Wednesday.

"Under these conditions property funds need to suspend while this extraordinary situation lasts, in order to ensure that investors, mostly long-term pension savers, are protected," Paul Richards, managing director of the Association of Real Estate Funds said in a statement relesed by the Investment Association.

Three property funds have said in the past two days they were suspending themselves due to extreme market volatility in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Clara Denina.)