CORRECTED-Global funds invest $904 mln in Australian malls with AMP

Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:10am EDT

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(Corrects headline and 1st paragraph to "global funds" from "sovereign wealth funds"; identifies CPPIB as a pension fund in 3rd paragraph)

CANBERRA Oct 25 (Reuters) - Two global funds have invested A$872 million ($904 million) in Australian shopping centres through wealth manager AMP Ltd as part of an asset swap deal with mall owner Westfield Group.

AMP said it has bought Westfield and Westfield Retail Trust's interests in three shopping malls for A$1.025 billion ($1.06 billion). It sold interests in four centres to Westfield and Westfield Retail Trust for A$710 million.

The transaction was backed by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), which manages one of the world's largest pension funds, and Harina Co Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), a sovereign wealth fund.

"Their respective investments will allow these highly regarded international investors to participate in the growth of leading shopping centres located in high population growth areas with significant development opportunities," AMP said in a statement.

Westfield will receive approximately A$200 million after the transaction. It said the deal was expected to have a neutral impact to its 2012 earnings.

Westfield Retail Trust said it would use the proceeds of A$180 million from the transaction to buy back up to A$200 million of its shares, approximately 2 percent of issued capital.

Shares in Westfield gained 0.9 percent on Thursday, and Westfield Retail Trust jumped 2.8 percent. AMP edged up 0.4 percent as of 0157 GMT.

(A$1 = $1.0360) ($1 = 0.9676 Australian dollars) (Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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