What’s New in Business News this Week? This Week’s Top-Line News Summary

Commercial Real Estate: According to a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article, a dozen U.S Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are set to raise dividends next quarter, on the heels of the industry as a whole raising $33 billion in capital. The dividend yield for mortgage REITs was 14.6 percent on Jan. 13, significantly higher than the yield for Treasuries (3.74 percent yesterday). Publicly traded REITs are required by law to pay 90 percent of their taxable income as dividends. Analysts note that even flush with cash, REITs will need to walk a fine line between conserving cash for deals that don’t go well and keeping investors happy.

M&A:  This morning British chocolate makers Cadbury accepted a bid of 11.9 billion pounds ($19.7 million) from Kraft foods after 4 months of wrangling. The deal creates the world’s largest confectioner. Cadbury shareholders will get 840 pence a share, with 500 pence of that in cash and the rest in stock. Cadbury will also pay them an extra 10 pence per share as a dividend once the deal is unconditional. For full terms of the deal, please click here.

Markets:  All eyes are watching the special election today in Massachusetts for the late Senator Kennedy’s Senate seat. According to a survey by InsiderAdvantage/Politico, Republican Scott Brown holds a slight lead over Democratic runner Martha Coakley with a 52% to 43% gain. The pressing issue at hand is the needed 60th vote for the healthcare bill. If Brown wins we will most likely see the bill dead in the water. If Coakley takes the seat some version of the healthcare bill will likely become law. To read more click here.

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