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December 21, 2012  Fri 12:20 PM CT

GGP: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
General Growth Properties remains near the the top of its recent range, and one trader apparently believes that the mall operator's stock will hold its current price level  in the next four months.

More than 5,000 April 20 puts were sold in less than a minute today, led by a single print of 4,602 that went for $1.35, according to optionMONSTER's tracking systems. The volume was well above the strike's open interest of 3,301 at the beginning of the day, indicating that this is a new position.

The put seller is betting that shares of the company, which has stakes in 136 regional malls across 41 states, will be above the $20 strike price at expiration in mid-April. If the stock is below that level at that time, the trader will face the obligation to buy shares at an effective price of about $18.65 once the credit from the put sale is factored in.

GGP is off 1.21 percent to $19.62 as shares continue to trade in a range between about $18.50 and $20.50 that has been in place since Sept. 10. The real-estate investment trust gapped lower that day after the General Growth's board rejected a demand by stakeholder Bill Ackman, owner of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, to sell the company.
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