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Recently, Kimco Realty Corp. (KIM - Analyst Report) sold 9 assets of its Mexican shopping center portfolio to a local real estate operator for 3.35 billion Mexican pesos ($274 million), which include 573 million Mexican pesos ($47 million) of mortgage debt. The move comes as a part of Kimco’s effort to dispose its non-core assets.

This retail real estate investment trust (REIT) had a 47.6% interest in the sold Mexican assets, which spanned 2.6 million square feet and were 91% leased. Notably, Kimco’s share of sale proceeds was approximately $93 million and the company generated a profit of about $26 million. Significantly, with the aforementioned transaction, Kimco’s Mexican shopping center portfolio now constitutes 47 assets, covering 9.4 million square feet.

Kimco is well on track on improving its core business operations and is focused on owning and operating neighborhood and community shopping centers through investments in North America. As part of this effort, the company is vending non-strategic assets and aggressively using this capital for developing its core business.

In relation to this, last week, Kimco disclosed the buyout of a Washington-based shopping center – Marketplace at Factoria – for a gross value of $130.75 million. Additionally, in first-quarter 2013, the company underwent a strong portfolio restructuring activity.The notable ones include: acquisition of 5 grocery banners’ operations from SUPERVALU Inc. (SVU - Analyst Report); and the sale of 1 non-retail and 2 shopping centers. Moreover, at the end of the first quarter, Kimco had about 14 retail properties in the contract negotiation stage for approximately $111 million.

Kimco currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-performing retail REITs include Equity One Inc. (EQY - Snapshot Report) and The Macerich Company (MAC - Analyst Report), both of which carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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