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In order to reinforce its premium assets portfolio, Prologis Inc. (PLD - Analyst Report) announced the initiation of a new development project – Prologis Park Kitamoto – in Japan. The move will strengthen Prologis’ position as one of the leading providers of industrial real estate in Asia.

Prologis Park Kitamoto, spanning 795,000 square feet, will be a four-story facility. The facility is strategically positioned in Saitama Ken-O submarket of Tokyo. The property is located within 29 miles of Tokyo's central business district and is well connected to the region through Ken-O Express highway. The project is slated to complete in early 2014.

Saitama Ken-O submarket is an emerging distribution hub of Tokyo. Prologis made an entry into the market through Prologis Park Kawajima – a multi-story speculative development.   The new property of Prologis will likely complement its existing asset and strengthen its top-line growth in the long run. Notably, this leading industrial real estate investment trust (REIT) currently has roughly 47 high-quality facilities, spanning 21 million square feet of space, in Japan.

Moreover, the industrial property market in Japan is showing signs of stability that was held back by the devastation and loss caused by the earthquake and tsunami in early 2012. The strategic move signifies Prologis’ motive to capitalize on the opportunity and meet the improving property values and growing institutional demand for quality properties.

In this connection, Prologis recently expressed its intention to set up a real estate investment trust in Japan through Nippon Prologis REIT Inc. (‘NPR’). The company would be sponsoring NPR exclusively and keep a minimum of 15% ownership stake in it.

Prologis is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter 2012 results on Feb 6, 2013. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s fourth-quarter FFO (funds from operations) is currently pegged at 41 cents per share.

Prologis currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). One of its peers, Winthrop Realty Trust (FUR - Snapshot Report), also holds a Zacks Rank #2.

Note: FFO, a widely accepted and reported measure of the performance of REITs is derived by adding depreciation, amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

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