Corio may lower dividend due to asset sales

AMSTERDAM Tue Dec 4, 2012 3:05am EST

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch retail property owner Corio NV (COR.AS) plans to sell 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion) worth of assets in the next three to four years and may lower its dividends to reflect its smaller scale.

Corio wants to change its dividend to a payout of 80 to 90 percent of total operating profit, instead of increasing the payout each year by the average inflation rate in the euro zone, the shop owner said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The moment you sell some projects but keep raising the dividend, it would result at some time in spending more than what you generate in cash," a Corio spokeswoman said.

Corio will sell about 20 percent of its property portfolio over the next three to four years, mainly its smaller shopping centers which on average show lower rental income growth and draw fewer customers than its larger centers.

It said it would use the proceeds to reduce debt and fund existing development projects.

($1=0.7650 euros)

(Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger; Editing by Mike Nesbit and David Holmes)

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