UPDATE 1-Australia's Westfield local shares dip, global shares rise after split

Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:33pm EDT

(Adds market capitalisation, restructure detail)

SYDNEY, June 25 (Reuters) - Shares in shopping centre giant Westfield Group's new Australia and New Zealand company, Scentre Group Ltd, fell and those of its new U.S. and European arm Westfield Corp rose when the newly restructured firm relisted on Wednesday.

Shares in Scentre debuted at A$3.21 ($3.02) then quickly fell to A$3.14, while shares in Westfield Corp first traded at A$6.70 then rose to A$6.75 by 1222 GMT.

Westfield, the world's largest retail property owner led by Australia's second-richest person Frank Lowy, faced resistance from Australian shareholders over its plan to split along geographic lines.

It only narrowly secured approval for the change with votes representing 76 percent of its shares supporting the split, just over the 75 percent it needed.

Australian shareholders who opposed the plan feared their shares would be devalued, the Australasian arm would be less profitable and would carry too much debt.

However the combined market capitalisation of both new Westfield businesses was A$35 billion following the re-listing on Wednesday, compared to a total market value of A$30 billion on Tuesday.

($1 = 1.0639 Australian Dollars) (Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Paul Tait and Stephen Coates)

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