“We see funds from operations for the group advancing about 7.5 % in 2012 and 6 %in 2013; we are looking for particular strength at Weingarten, which should benefit from the absence of its industrial portfolio that had dragged down results, as well as Simon Property Group (+12 % expected in 2012) and Taubman Centers, Glimcher,” S&P said. “We expect that as earnings continue improving that management will continue boosting dividends, with typical payout ratios still considerably lower than before the financial crisis owing to a general desire among REITs to preserve liquidity.”

iShares FTSE NAREIT Retail Capped Index Fund

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.