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Adia shops around with Australian investments

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have jointly invested A$872 million in three Australian shopping centres through AMP Capital, a wealth manager.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) have jointly invested A$872 million (Dh3.32 billion) in three Australian shopping centres through AMP Capital, a wealth manager.

The deal is part of an asset swap between AMP and Westfield Group, the malls company with more 100 properties across the world.

"[Adia and CPPIB] 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 yesterday.

It did not disclose the value of each sovereign wealth fund's investment.

AMP-managed funds have acquired Westfield Group (WDC) and Westfield Retail Trust's (WRT) interests in the Macquarie Centre, Sydney, the Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast and Garden City Booragoon in Perth, for A$1.025bn.

In turn, WDC and WRT have acquired AMP Capital-managed funds' interests in four centres: Garden City Mt Gravatt in Brisbane; a part interest in Warringah Mall in Sydney; and Knox and Casey Central in Melbourne, for A$710m.

AMP said its funds would also invest A$970m on the redevelopment of Macquarie Centre and Pacific Fair.

"We have partnered very successfully with Westfield Group for over 50 years to deliver our clients superior investment returns across our shopping centre portfolio," said Craig Dunn, the chief executive of AMP.

"Now is the right time to simplify our relationship to ensure we continue to deliver the best possible outcome for our investors well into the future."

AMP added the deal would create 3,000 new permanent retail jobs and 3,450 construction positions.

Relations between the UAE and Australia have been growing this year after deals were signed between parties in the two countries.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Council teamed up in September with Goodman Group, one of the largest listed property companies in Australia, to invest about US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) in logistics warehouses across Japan.

Emirates Airline and Qantas, the Australian flag carrier, signed a 10-year alliance in September, while Etihad Airways upped its stake in Virgin Australia to 10 per cent.

The Australia Gulf Council (AGC) has also signed a number of new partnership agreements this year.

According to the AGC, the GCC region represents one of Australia's top export markets worth A$8.3bn in 2010.

Adia declined to comment.

rjones@thenational.ae

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