Australia's Westpac Agrees To Spin Off Hastings Unit

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 6 November 2017

Australia's Westpac Agrees To Spin Off Hastings Unit

Tighter capital rules on Australian banks are prompting firms to spin off capital-intensive units.

Westpac has agreed to sell its infrastructure firm, Hastings, which oversees A$122.6 billion ($93.9 billion) in funds, to Northill Capital, an asset manager based in London. Westpac, along with a number of Australian banks, has shed certain assets, including capital-intensive ones, in the face of tougher domestic regulations. 

Hastings, which was founded in 1994, rolled out one of the first infrastructure-focused debt funds – then a comparatively rare asset class – in 1999. It now employs more than 100 people with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, London, New York and in Asia. 

The sale agreement is subject to customary regulatory approvals; financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Australian banks are wrestling with harsher capital regulations to make the system more resilient against future financial shocks. As a result, banks are slimming down some of their operations and spinning off businesses seen as carrying higher capital costs. ANZ, for example, has sold off Asian retail and wealth management business, it also recently announced it was selling its pensions and investments business to IOOF Holdings. 


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