The global market capitalization of publicly listed real estate investment trusts grew more than 25% in the past 12 months despite the loss of nearly a quarter of public U.S. REITs during that period through privatization and mergers, according to a report by Ernst & Young.The second annual E&Y REIT report, prepared by Ernst & Young Australia, found that global REIT capitalization reached $764 billion as of June 30, up from $608 billion a year earlier. "Essentially, we've seen a dramatic shift in REIT formation away from North America and toward Asia and Europe in the last 12 months," said Michael Frankel, E&Y's global director of REIT services. "While a number of quite large North American REITs have been taken private in the last year, we've seen a tremendous outpouring of capital in Asia and Europe, where REIT regimes in the U.K. and Turkey have helped the rest of the world surpass the U.S. for the first time in total number of REITs." The United States had 169 of North America's 195 public REITs as of June 30, compared with 253 outside North America, according to Bloomberg data used in the report. The company can be found online at http://www.ey.com.

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