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GPT Group: All shopped out

The GPT Group (ASX: GPT) is shopped out. The property corporation announced today that it has sold its 50% interest in a NSW shopping centre to Lend Lease Group (NYSE: LLC) for $397.1 million.

The Erina Fair shopping centre is located on the Central Coast and holds 323 tenancies in its 113,500 m2. According to GPT, the centre is currently operating at 99.9% capacity.

“This solid demand has allowed GPT to realise the value of this asset and continue to progress its strategy to move to a more balanced portfolio weighting,” said GPT CEO and Managing Director Michael Cameron in a statement today. With this newest divestment, GPT will have reduced the retail piece of its property pie 7 percentage points to 51% in the last year.

Although Lend Lease’s purchase represents a 1% premium ($3.9 million) over its December 2012 fair value, the corporation will now enjoy full ownership over the facility. Lend Lease already manages the remaining 50% of Erina Fair through its Australia Prime Property Fund.

Foolish takeaway

Property swaps are happening all over Australia and abroad as companies focus strategies. DEXUS Property Groups (ASX: DXS) exited its French assets last week in favour of Australian offices, while Goodman Group (ASX: GMG) is adding to Asian assets in China and Japan. Divestment and streamlined strategies will help corporations capture economies of scale, expand margins, and improve their institutional knowledge.

But less diverse portfolios also increase the risk of major dips from sector-wide or country-wide economic downturns. Investors will need a closer watch than ever as they watch their profits rise – because the fall could hurt more than ever before.

To protect your portfolio from disastrous dives, consider corporations with proven profits. The Australian Financial Review says “good quality Australian shares that have a long history of paying dividends are a real alternative to a term deposit.” Get “3 Stocks for the Great Dividend Boom” in our special FREE report. Click here now to find out the names, stock symbols, and full research for our three favourite income ideas, all completely free!

More reading

The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead.  This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Motley Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo.

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