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What the World's Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Will Buy Soon

GOV pays a generous 7.4% dividend representing a payout of 158%. Its total debt in the most recent quarter ending Sept. 30 was a staggering $610.71 million, which is high for a REIT with an operating cash flow (TTM) of $99.28 million.

Its revolving credit line is approximately $550 million. You can visit its informative Web site to see the latest quarterly earnings results and GOV's credit rating. Oftentimes a higher yield and payout ratio means that the credit rating will be lower than a more conservative REIT like VNO, which only yields 3.5%.

Getting back to the Norwegian SWF, before it expands to areas like Asia it will scour the U.S. market for the best real estate deals. The SWF is "looking for partners with a long timetable as well as deep pockets. The fund is set up to hold investments for decades if need be," meaning it may hold a piece of property through a number of boom-and-bust cycles, according to the Journal article.

Another potential partner with "deep pockets" may be SL Green Realty (SLG - Get Report), another New York-based REIT with a $6.9 billion market cap and a forward PE ratio of around 15.43.

Like VNO, its shares offer a much lower dividend payout (current yield-to-price of around 1.74%) and a more modest payout ratio of 67%. At $76 per share the REIT trades well below its Sept. 17 52-week high of $85.74. One year ago (Dec. 29, 2011) its 52-week low of $65.08 was established.

The Norwegian SWF must believe Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who stated emphatically the Fed will keep interest rates near zero until 2015, which should be good for established REITs with long-standing lines of credit. The SWFs of the world want income with slow and steady growth. The U.S. real estate apparently meets those requirements to a "T."

At the time of publication the author had a position in GOV.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

DISCLOSURE: As of the time of publication the author is only long shares of GOV.

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FUR $14.47 -0.14%
GOV $17.22 -0.23%
SLG $114.23 0.03%
VNO $95.23 -0.68%
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