The Financial Post reports in its Saturday edition that Sun Life Financial saw the value of its U.S. office-building investments plunge more than 26 per cent last year. A Bloomberg dispatch to the Post says that insurer and asset manager reported Wednesday that the total value of its investment properties, which includes industrial, retail and multifamily residential buildings, slipped 3.8 per cent to $9.7-billion at the end of last year. The declines came as mark-to-market valuations sunk amid stress in the commercial real estate space, with U.S. office investments taking the biggest hit, dropping in value to $476-million from $647-million a year earlier. Sun Life's Canadian office properties shed almost 11 per cent of their value, declining to $1.6-billion. Some of those shifts in value came from selling some buildings and buying other ones, but most of the losses were on paper. Sun Life previously sold all but one of its office buildings in San Francisco, and that property took a major hit in the fourth quarter as increased sales activity reset market comparables lower. Sun Life has no mortgages on the majority of its properties and can afford to hang onto them for the long term in the hopes of a turnaround.
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