Two listed property trusts yesterday set the scene for the coming reporting season by announcing asset value writedowns totalling almost $500m for the six months to 30 June.

Babcock & Brown Japan Property Trust said the fair value of the total portfolio fell by 13.3% to Y125.5bn ($1.6bn), compared with Y144.7bn at the end of December.

A spokeswoman for the trust said yesterday the valuation was also affected by the change in the exchange rate. The Australian dollar was worth Y62.45 at 31 December last year but strengthened to Y78 at the end of last month.

Senior adviser to the BJT board, Eric Lucas, said Japan had suffered its worst negative GDP number in more than 50 years in the first half of the year.

The Australian