NAREIT's executive board rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday morning as part of the kickoff of its annual convention. It was a fitting venue given that REITWorld 2010 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the creation of REITs. "I told CEOs, 'if you raise capital, it will demonstrate to the market that you're a survivor," said Martin Cohen, co-chairman and co-CEO of Cohen & Steers Capital Management, speaking of 2008 and early 2009. REITs raised $35 billion through equity offerings in 2009 and year to date has already matched that figure, according to Debra Cafaro, NAREIT's outgoing chairwoman.

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