Cohen & Steers
is looking to expand outside of its comfort zone of real estate investment trusts and more recently, utilities. The New York-based REIT specialist is readying to launch a combined REIT and common equity closed-end fund and a global REIT fund in January.
Although managers of the Dividend Majors Fund will invest from 35 to 65 percent of portfolio assets in dividend-yielding equities and 35 to 65 percent in REITs, investors can think of the new product as a
"50-50 fund" said Martin Cohen
, co-chief executive officer of Cohen & Steers.
Managers will look for companies that have offered consistent or increasing dividends over the last five years, said Cohen. Merrill Lynch is the lead underwriter for the Dividend Majors Fund.
Cohen & Steers will also likely launch a new open-ended REIT fund in January. The Global Income Realty Fund will offer U.S. investors the opportunity to gain exposure abroad, and provide foreign investors to gain access to the U.S. REIT market. Managers of the Global Income Realty Fund will invest a size- and opportunity-proportional amount of the portfolio's assets in U.S. REITs, said Cohen.
Countries with REIT structures in place include: Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Korea, France and Hong Kong. The United Kingdom, Finland, Germany, Italy and Spain are all considering implementing REITs, said Cohen.
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