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Charter Hall, Westpac in talks over Westpac’s Hastings unit

Charter Hall Group, an A$19 billion ($15.1 billion) real estate investment manager, and Westpac Banking Corp., both based in Sydney, announced the start of exclusive discussions on the sale of Westpac infrastructure affiliate, Hastings Management Proprietary Limited, to Charter Hall.

A joint news release Monday said Charter Hall believes its purchase of Hastings and that company's A$14.3 billion book of global infrastructure assets, would provide "an attractive expansion opportunity for Charter Hall across real assets funds management."

A Westpac spokeswoman and a Charter Hall spokesman declined to provide further details.

In trading Monday on the Australian Securities Exchange, shares of Charter Hall, which listed on the ASX in 2005, dropped 2.1% to A$5.18, as the broader market was slipping 0.61% to 5,688.10.