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Here’s why Westfield Group popped 2.6% today

What: On a day where the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has struggled to post a gain, shares in Westfield Group (ASX: WDC) have rallied 28c or 2.6% to be trading at $10.89.

So what: Although no news has been released which would directly suggest why the shares have risen so strongly, it could well be attributed to increasing confidence regarding the Group’s merger proposal, set to be voted for on Friday.

The stock has fallen heavily in recent weeks after the initial vote was adjourned on May 29. While there have been many concerns that the deal will not be approved by shareholders of Westfield Retail Trust (ASX: WRT) this time around (a 75% approval rate is required), it is now believed enough shareholders will have changed their stance to give the Group a narrow win.

Now what: The deal will see Westfield Group’s international assets spun off to form Westfield Corporation, while both the Group’s and the Trust’s local assets will be merged to form Scentre Group. There is certainly logic to be unlocked by the proposal in that both entities would be able to focus on funding their own development pipelines to maximise shareholder returns.

A better bet than Westfield…

While I like both Westfield Group and Westfield Retail Trust as investments, I certainly don’t think they’re the best ideas for today’s money.

A stock I am also very bullish on (and already happily own) is one that top Motley Fool analysts have identified as their #1 ASX pick for 2014 - a small-cap stock that could be poised for big gains (and offers a fat, fully franked dividend!). Click here to discover all the details now, including the name and code, in this FREE investment report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014."

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

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