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ATLANTA-Wells Real Estate Investment Trust will pay a fourth-quarter annualized cash dividend in December of 7.75% to shareholders of record from Sept. 16 through Dec. 15. The amount is up from 7.5% in the second quarter.

The latest dividend increase is the fifth increase since the REIT started in March 1998.

“While interest rate cuts have forced CD and bond yields lower and stock dividend yields have fallen to their lowest levels in nearly 60 years, Wells REIT continues to increase its dividend,” Leo F. Wells III, the REIT’s founder/president, says in a prepared statement.

“By paying cash and carrying no long-term debt on is class A suburban office and industrial properties, income paid to Wells REIT investors is not preceded by mortgage payments to creditors” Wells says. “As a result, Wells is best positioned to support a consistent stream of income, even in the face of an economic slowdown.”

The REIt has raised $575 million in investor proceeds over the last three years.

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