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Why you should hold your Westfield Group shares

Shares in global shopping centre giant Westfield Group (ASX: WDC) rose above $11 for the first time since October last week.

They have been on a steady incline for the last six weeks and have risen almost 15% from their December low. In comparison, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has jumped 7.8% while Westfield Retail Trust (ASX: WRT) has risen 14.6% in the same time.

Although many investors remain concerned about the future of the bricks-and-mortar retail industry, it is well worth holding onto your Westfield Group shares for the long haul. The company has excellent exposure to the recovering US and UK economies and is developing its most iconic centres to maximise foot traffic and sales.

Its World Trade Centre mall in New York as well as Westfield London and Croydon (in London’s south) are set to drive the Group’s earnings well into the future – particularly given the popular brands lining up for store space including Apple, Michael Kors, Victoria’s Secret and Giorgio Armani.

The stock offers a 4.7% dividend yield and is trading on a P/E ratio of 16.5.

An even better bet for your money

Even at today’s price, I would strongly consider adding Westfield Group to my portfolio. However, right now I believe there is an even more compelling investment idea that is ripe for the picking.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

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