Lloyds Unit Said to Sell Commercial Property Loans in Australia

BOS International, an Australian unit of Lloyds Banking Group Plc, plans to exit the market for commercial property after selling distressed loans with a face value of A$2.1 billion ($2.2 billion), a person familiar with the matter said.

The sales began last week and will take several months to complete, according to the person, asking not to be identified because the details are private. The loan portfolio is linked to properties in the states of Queensland, New South Wales, Canberra and Victoria, the person said.

BOS International sold real-estate loans in New Zealand and Queensland with a face value of A$1.7 billion in November, another person familiar with the matter said at the time. Buyers included the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund and a venture between Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Brookfield Asset Management Ltd., that person said.

“BOSI is looking at a number of actions that will help us to deleverage our non-core business and focus on our ongoing core businesses,” Peter Shear, Lloyds International’s head of business support, said by telephone today from Sydney.

Lloyds has cut 42,000 jobs over the past three years, closed overseas units and pledged a narrower focus on its core U.K. market as it seeks to wean itself off cheap central bank loans. The company will maintain corporate lending, project finance, risk management, treasury and asset-finance businesses in Australia, Shear said.

The sale plans for BOS International’s commercial property portfolio were reported earlier today in the Financial Times.

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