Retail REITs around the world raised $22.5 billion last year, an 80% increase over 2011, according to SNL Financial. Many of these REITs raised the capital to clean up balance sheets, says Jason Lail, senior industry analyst with SNL Financial, noting that the median leverage for global retail REITs dropped 4% from the end of 2011 to the end of the third quarter of 2012.

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