Friends First, the life and pensions provider, has confirmed around 133 investors in its Crystal Property Fund have seen their entire €40m investment wiped out, according to The Sunday Business Post.

The fund had invested in speculative greenfield and brownfield sites but the value of this land was now less than the debt owed, which mean the value of the fund had been written down to zero.

The fund was launched in April 2006 by Liberty Asset Management, a division of Friends First. It was a geared fund that borrowed money to invest in speculative property deals.

At first, all seemed well: the fund reported profits of €5.4m for 2006 €2.1m for 2007. The company did not file returns for 2008 or 2009 but documents filed in the Companies Office show that auditors Deloitte resigned during the summer.

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