UBS Cuts Stake in Centro

Some more bad news for Centro:

UBS, Europe's biggest bank by assets, reduced its holdings below 5 percent, two weeks after announcing it had raised its stake to 8.6 percent, according to a statement today to the Australian Stock Exchange. Centro, which lost more than 80 percent of its market value in December, fell 4.3 percent to A$1.11 at the 4:10 p.m. close in Sydney.

Full story over at Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal had a lengthly story questioning the health of the retail real estate industry, partly stemming from Centro's troubles.

Even landlords with relatively stable properties aren't assured of escaping the credit crunch. Australian REIT Centro Properties Group, which has amassed a big U.S. retail portfolio in recent years, is scrounging to find an equity partner or a buyer because it can't pay off looming debt maturities. And the market is closely watching mall operator General Growth Properties Inc., which has $2.8 billion in debt coming due this year.
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