The listed property sector looks set to finally see some consolidation, after two retail-focused real estate funds, Fairvest and Safari Investments, announced on Thursday they had opened merger talks. There are more than 60 property companies listed on the JSE and fund managers have been calling for consolidation among the smaller, less liquid stocks. This would provide more choice for investors and create growth opportunities for the merged companies. Fairvest CEO Darren Wilder said an unnamed shareholder had prompted the two property companies, which invest in shopping centres that serve the working class in peri-urban and rural areas, to consider joining forces and merging to create a larger and more liquid fund for investors. Numerous fund managers say a merger between the two will be successful, given how they invest in similar assets and how the two management teams will be able to enhance each other’s operations. Fairvest is Cape Town-based but invests throughout SA while Saf...

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