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One of the UK's most high profile stock-pickers has suspended trading in his largest fund as rising numbers of investors ask for their money back. Neil Woodford said after "an increased level of redemptions", investors would not be allowed to "redeem, purchase or transfer shares" in the fund.
Investors have withdrawn about £560m from the fund over the past four weeks. However, it was a request from Kent County Council to withdraw £250m that led to the suspension.
At its peak, the Woodford Equity Income fund managed £10.2bn worth of assets, such as local authority pension funds. However, it now manages £3.7bn, according to the financial services and research firm Morningstar. Mr Woodford's firm, Woodford Investment Management, is also the biggest investor in Kier Group, the construction and services group which on Monday warned on profits, sending its shares crashing 41%.
"But he hasn't got anything on!" the whole town cried out at last. The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all.