Morgan Stanley's Got Commercial Real Estate Problems

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All that weakness in the commercial real estate market isn’t happening in a vacuum. Deal Junkie points to this report in Pensions & Investments Magazine, which outlines all the issues the firm is facing:

•Morgan Stanley is writing down 80% of the properties in Fund V U.S. and 60% in Fund VI International.

•Two investors — the $60.5 billion New Jersey State Investment Council and the $3.86 billion Contra Costa County Employees Retirement Association — backed out of their commitments to its latest closed-end fund, the approximately $5 billion Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund VII. Contra Costa had committed $75 million; New Jersey, $150 million. (Fund VII is closed to further commitments but is technically open to tie up loose ends, according to sources close to Morgan Stanley.)

•Its $5 billion open-end core real estate fund, the Morgan Stanley Prime Property Fund, has a line of investors asking for a total of more than $500 million in redemptions as of year-end 2008. The fund returned -19.8% for the 12 months ended March 31, underperforming the NCREIF Property index but outperforming the NCREIF Open-End Diversified Core Equity index, according to fund information provided to investors.

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