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Sector Update: Financial

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Financial stocks were moderately higher with the NYSE Financial Sector Index climbing about 0.4% and the S&P Financial 100 Index also advancing about 0.4%.

In company news, Brookfield Property Partners (BPY,BPY-UN.TO) was holding onto a 1% advance late Tuesday after increasing the target for growth in its yearly cash distributions to shareholders by as much as 60% over its prior forecasts.

During its annual Investment Day presentations in New York today, the real estate development firm said it was increasing expected growth in its cash dividend to 5% to 8% over FY13 levels, up from its previous outlook expecting 3% to 5% growth.

BPY in April said it again anticipates making cash distributions of $1.00 per unit on an annualized basis during the current fiscal year, unchanged from FY13. It said the new guidance reflects positive long-term fundamentals and strong organic growth, including opportunities from marking-to-market expiring leases, occupancy gains, and the monetization of its development and redevelopment projects.

BPY units were up slightly more than 1% this afternoon at $21.05 each, just a penny under its session high. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $18.19 to $21.94 per unit, rising nearly 8% over the past 12 months prior to today's gains.

The stock also was higher in Canadian trade at C$23.33 per unit, adding 1.6% late at the Toronto Stock Exchange.

In other sector news,

(+) GRT, Agrees to $4.3 bln buyout offer from Washington Prime Group ( WPG ), which will exchange $10.40 in cash and 0.1989 shares of its stock for each GRT share. Deal also includes GRT selling two malls to Simon Property Group ( SPG ) for $1.09 bln.

(-) MS, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure unit buys 6.5% interest in natural gas gathering facility from Magnum Hunter Resources Group ( MHR ) for $65 mln. Also buys 41% stake in the facility from ArcLight Capital Partners for unspecified amount.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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