It’s not that long ago that former market darling Hyprop Investments was one of the most expensive property stocks on the JSE. Back in mid-2017, the owner of mega-malls like Canal Walk in Cape Town, Rosebank Mall in Joburg and Clearwater Mall on the West Rand was still trading at a demanding dividend yield of close to 5% and regularly appeared at the top of most fund managers’ stock pick lists. And with good reason. Hyprop had built a formidable record over at least a decade of delivering above-market dividend growth, come rain or shine. But last year, its share price slumped 35% from its January high of R122.50, which pushed the company’s dividend yield to a record high of more than 10%. Hyprop’s sell-off was prompted by the demise of Stuttafords in late 2017, which left a chunk of empty floor space (albeit temporarily) in several of its malls. Last year’s overall deterioration in retail trading conditions and the woes of the Edcon group further caused Hyprop to lose its shine — Hy...

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