Putnam Investments isn’t concerned about Carl Icahn or anyone else who’s making splashy bets against malls.
The Boston-based mutual-fund manager not only thinks that Icahn’s brash $400 million wager against mall owners won’t pan out, but the firm is doubling down on its opposing bet — that e-commece is not going to kill off shopping centers soon.
“Icahn’s perspective overall is very different from us,” Brett Kozlowski, a Putnam fixed-income portfolio manager, told MarketWatch in an interview. “Our fundamental view on malls,” he said, focuses on the ability of property operators to rent out their space and keep abreast of their debt payments, even as retailers face fierce competition.
“We don’t think the U.S. retail spender is dead,” he said. “We constantly are seeing malls shift away from apparel and more into services.”
He pointed to malls adding yoga studios or movie theaters, as one strategy, while noting that several California property owners have converted retail space…