Investing in malls, despite store closings

By Norm Alster | The New York Times

Real estate funds, market stars since the financial crisis ended in 2009, have faltered, dragged down by the closing of big stores at malls across the United States.

The unanswered question now is whether investors in malls can successfully adjust to a threatening environment.

Real estate mutual funds and exchange-traded funds hold real estate investment trusts (R.E.I.T.s) that must deliver at least 90 percent of after-tax earnings to investors. R.E.I.T.s own all sorts of income-producing property: shopping malls, apartment complexes, industrial warehouses and medical buildings, for example.

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