Neil Woodford’s woes mount as deadline arrives to meet withdrawal demands

Much will turn on what the former investment star says about the debacle on Monday. He must address the hard issues

Get ready to hear from Neil Woodford. Four weeks have passed since dealings were suspended in his Equity Income Fund and the arrival of the 28-day mark obliges the manager to say something. The suspension must be formally reviewed and investors must be told if they will soon have access to their cash. Here’s a spoiler: the chances of the gates being released on Monday are close to zero.

The fund had roughly £3.5bn of assets at suspension and too few holdings have been liquidated in the past month to meet the anticipated level of redemption requests. Add up Woodford’s public disclosures of sales of stakes in quoted companies and they come to about £300m, a figure inflated in the past week thanks to a chunky holding in BCA Marketplace, the car auction firm on the receiving end of a takeover bid.

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