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NEW YORK CITY-Analysts from Banc of America Securities LLC say they expect modest total returns from industrial and self-storage REITs this year, following the company’s Out of the Box REIT Summit held Jan. 24. “In an environment of moderating growth and rising cap rates, we continue to favor REITs with more protection from a downward revision in growth expectations and less risk of upside to cap rates,” say conference organizers Christy McElroy and Mitchell Germain in a prepared post-conference statement.

The two BAS analysts say they continue to recommend a focus on companies with solid management teams, clean balance sheets, high-quality, well-located assets and strong, low-risk growth profiles. Of the company’s top five REIT investment picks for 2008, only two, San Francisco-based AMB Property Corp. and Glendale, CA-based Public Storage Inc., come from the industrial and self-storage sectors.

The summit featured four panels with executives from companies in the two sectors. Some of the panelists included Stuart Brown, CFO of DCT Industrial Trust; Matthew Cohoat, executive vice president and CFO of Duke Realty Corp.; Michael Brennan, president and CEO of First Industrial Realty Trust; Charles Sullivan, managing director–North America operations for ProLogis; and Dean Jernigan, president and CEO of U-Store-It Trust.

Summing up the main conference findings, McElroy and Germain say:

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