AUSTRALIA: Woolworths To Push On With Sales
Woolworths is not abandoning plans to securitise its $300m portfolio of distribution centres. Earlier this year Woolworths said securitisation was under consideration, and the prospect was raised again at the Property Council's capital markets seminar this week.Later, a Woolworths spokesperson told The Australian that the company's position had not changed, and the corporate treasury department was "always in the market for options on balance sheet management".Qantas and David Jones are the latest companies to successfully securitise assets, and Fosters also recently announced it wanted to securitise its $700m portfolio of licensed hotels.Stephen Girdis, executive director of Macquarie Bank, is predicting the number of companies turning to capital management strategies, including property securitisation, will continue rising. Companies have been slow to unlock property holdings, but it was changing. "The number of companies that have taken capital management steps has jumped from two in 1996 to 94 in 2000," he said.
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