REIT activist investors are "an evolving situation" that may develop into something in which a broader sphere of companies are targeted instead of those considered to be underperforming, according to Mark Parrell, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Equity Residential. It could be a situation in which the investor wants to take a "different strategy that could create incremental value that the activist wishes to pursue," Parrell said.
Tricon Capital Group has agreed to buy Silver Bay Realty Trust in a stock transaction valued at $1.4 billion. The deal includes an equity purchase of $820 million and a debt assumption of $600 million, which will be refinanced.
New Residential Investment, Soros Fund Management, Third Point and Jefferies will buy up to $5 billion worth of consumer loans over the next two years from Prosper Marketplace. Prosper has been valued at $1.9 billion but has faced a reduction in investor demand in recent months.
Forest City Realty Trust has signed nonbinding letters of intent with existing partners QIC and Madison International Realty to buy out its stake in close to 24 retail properties over a two- to three-year period. The properties -- 11 regional malls that Forest City co-owns with QIC and a New York retail portfolio that it co-owns with Madison -- have a potential value of $1.2 billion.
Milestone Apartments REIT is in talks with Starwood Capital Group about increasing the $1.3 billion price that Starwood has agreed to pay to acquire it, according to Reuters. Sources say the two companies could announce a higher price this week.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and discussed the US role in global financial regulations. "Secretary Mnuchin underscored that he looked forward to working with Governor Carney on international financial regulatory issues and noted that one of the administration's core principles for financial regulation is to promote American interests in international financial regulatory negotiations and meetings," according to a Treasury Department statement.
Department stores are taking different strategic approaches to reducing square footage and keeping brick-and-mortar stores relevant in the digital age. Macy's and J.C. Penney will close some stores and use the savings to invest in others, while Kohl's will move many of its stores to smaller spaces.
Corporate debt issuance was up 43% in January compared with the same month the previous year, according to data released by SIFMA, although last January's figure has been widely noted as exceptionally low. More broadly, bank lending is slowing, particularly in the commercial and industrial sectors, and companies appear to be selling more bonds before an expected interest-rate increase, while many lenders and borrowers are waiting for more clarity on US fiscal policy.
The market may be losing faith in the so-called reflation trade -- that is, the assumption that President Donald Trump would introduce a large fiscal stimulus that would generate growth. Stocks and bonds are now moving in tandem, a change from before the election when investors were selling bonds, and a signal that investors think that riskier assets may be stretched.
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