Stockland fills its coffers for change of tack

STOCKLAND has raised about $172.5 million through the sale of its 9 Castlereagh Street skyscraper to Charter Hall, with the funds to be used for redevelopments.

STOCKLAND has raised about $172.5 million through the sale of its 9 Castlereagh Street skyscraper to Charter Hall, with the funds to be used for redevelopments.

Under the deal Charter Hall's unlisted Core Plus Office Fund will buy the property, increasing its Sydney office market exposure from 19 per cent to 27 per cent.

Under previous management, Stockland has focused on a "three Rs" strategy of retail, residential and retirement assets.

As a result, the former chief executive Matthew Quinn embarked on a sale program of the group's commercial and industrial assets, worth a combined $1 billion.

The new CEO, Mark Steinert, will report the group's half-year result to December 31 on Wednesday and analysts are expecting more information on his review of the business.

This could mean the sale of the retirement assets either to a third party or via the creation of a separately listed property trust.

Amid expectations that Stockland could also make some writedowns in its residential business, in a similar move to Mirvac last week, the consensus half-year profit is estimated at $250 million.

That compares with a net profit of $350 million for the previous corresponding period, which was also hurt by slow settlements for house and land developments and a flat retail market.

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