I’m having trouble actually finding the data in a centralized manner, without having to read each individual set of financial statements.

With the consumer currently under pressure, and unemployment rising, non-recourse commercial mortgages will come under increasing pressure for that “Put Option” to be exercised to the originator.

Now while this may well be a negative for the Banks, that’s not really where the opportunity [shorting bank stocks] may lie. Rather, REIT’s that specialise within this market segment, who can off-load non-performing properties [debt] thus deleveraging their Balance Sheets, but at no future disadvantage when looking to re-leverage.

Thus, we have a situation where non-performing assets can be “Put” back to the originators, while potentially higher performing assets can be purchased.

“U.S. commercial real estate, while not as bad off as the U.S. housing market, has softened since last year as credit has become more expensive and difficult to obtain, bringing sales to a near standstill.

What’s more, with the U.S. economy continuing to weaken, some commercial property owners are starting to see some large department stores in malls or grocery stores in neighborhood shopping centers close their doors.

U.S. commercial property sales transactions were off nearly 70% in the first quarter of 2008 versus a year earlier, according to research firm Real Capital Analytics.”

“Grocery-anchored neighborhood shopping centers, where a loss of the grocery store often represents a loss of at least 40 percent in the property’s income, may do this more than any other type of property owner, Longua said.

“Kimco has done it, and they should,” Longua said. “There’s no problem. It’s part of the game.”

Kimco Realty is the largest U.S. owner of grocery-anchored shopping centers, and had in the past defaulted on individual mortgages, especially after Kmart Corp closed doors on many stores in 2002.

Since then, Kimco has had no problem attracting lenders.”

“Glimcher Realty Trust, is one company analysts and credit rating companies are watching.

A $45.5 million payment on its Eastland Mall in North Carolina comes due this year. The 1.1 million square foot mall has closed two of its anchor stores – J.C. Penney and Belk Inc. department stores. The mall has an ice skating rink, which has also been closed. A lease on a Sears, owned by Sears Holdings, expires next year.

The mall has been up for sale but has yet to attract a buyer. When asked if Glimcher would consider giving the property back to the lenders if it failed to find a buyer, Michael Glimcher, chairman and chief executive said: “It’s not our intention to own Eastland at the end of the year.”

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