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BREIT Restricts Withdrawals Again After Investors Try To Pull Out $4.5B


Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust restricted redemptions for the fifth month in a row in March as the U.S. financial system suffered jitters.

Investors made withdrawal requests totaling $4.5B, but the private REIT only allowed about $666M, or 15%, to be redeemed, Bloomberg reports. BREIT told investors in a letter that March was “a month of tremendous market volatility and broad-based financial stress,” according to Bloomberg.

The March requests topped February, when investors wanted to take $3.9B out, but came in below the peak of more than $5B in redemption requests in January.

"This supports our thesis that redemption requests peaked in January and then would decline through May, although banking industry turmoil in March likely raised the redemption trajectory and extended the period of 'limits' versus our prior estimate," Bank of America securities analyst Craig Siegenthaler said in a note reported by Seeking Alpha.

Beginning late last year, withdrawal requests for BREIT began outrunning the company's willingness to fulfill them, as spooked investors questioned the nontraded REIT's net asset value in the face of sliding or uncertain real estate valuations.

“Strong performance is what matters and BREIT has delivered: 12.3% annualized net return since inception,” a Blackstone spokesperson told Bisnow by email.

"As for March redemptions, they remain 16% below their January peak despite elevated market volatility. BREIT is not a mutual fund and has never gated. It is a semi-liquid product and is working exactly as planned,” the spokesperson said.

Under the terms of investing in the private REIT, only 5% of its net asset value can be withdrawn per quarter. In January and February, investors were able to get 2% out each month, putting an additional squeeze on March withdrawals.

Publicly traded Blackstone Inc. stock dropped by about 2.7% on Tuesday morning, roughly as much as it has lost over the last five days. Compared with a year ago, it is down 36.6%.

UPDATE, APRIL 4, 5:30 P.M. ET: This story has been updated with a comment from Blackstone.