U.S. mall investors set to lose billions as retail gloom deepens

NEW YORK (Reuters/IFR) – The dramatic shift to online shopping that has crushed U.S. department stores in recent years now threatens the investors who a decade ago funded the vast expanse of brick and mortar emporiums that many Americans no longer visit. Some $128 billion of commercial real estate loans –┬ámore than one-quarter of which went to finance malls a decade ago – are due to refinance between now and the end of 2017, according to Morningstar Credit Ratings. Wells Fargo estimates that about $38 billion of these loans were taken out by retailers, bundled into commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and sold to institutional investors.

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