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Blackstone Limiting Withdrawals From Real Estate Fund To Avoid 'Liquidity Mismatch'

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Blackstone's nontraded real estate fund Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust Inc. will limit withdrawals after requests exceeded limits set by the fund to prevent "a liquidity mismatch," Bloomberg reported Thursday. 

Withdrawal requests were more than 2% of the net asset value, which is the monthly limit, and more than the 5% threshold that's allowed per quarter, Bloomberg said.

The fund owns $69B in assets, including logistics, rental housing and hotels.

Over the last few years, "the fund has been one of the big sources of Blackstone’s growth in assets under management, alongside a private credit fund called BCRED," the Financial Times reported. But in recent quarters, "rising redemption requests from both funds have worried analysts as a signal of stalling asset growth."

Blackstone met just 43% of redemption requests from fund investors in November, according to a notice it sent to investors on Thursday, the FT said. In October, the REIT received redemption requests totaling $1.8B, or roughly 2.7% of its net asset value.

The low interest rates that fueled the REIT's growth in previous years have now vanished, leaving it to struggle with a challenging economy and sky-high borrowing costs, Bloomberg said. And there are indications that there could be more restrictions in the future. 

The fund has received redemption requests in November and December that are beyond the quarterly threshold. About 70% of those requests are coming from Asia, FT said. 

News of the restrictions on withdrawals sent Blackstone shares tumbling almost 8% late Monday morning in New York, Bloomberg said. 

Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust announced Thursday that it was selling its stake in the Las Vegas MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay hotels, generating $700M for the fund.

“The sale ... enables us to further concentrate BREIT’s portfolio in its highest growth sectors, including logistics and rental housing,” Blackstone Real Estate Senior Managing Director Scott Trebilco said in a statement.