Centro Properties, the second largest shopping mall owner in Australia and the fifth biggest in the US, has put itself on the auction block ahead of a February 15 deadline to refinance A$3.9bn (£1.7bn) of short-term debt. Financial Times, The Times

The heavily indebted Australia-listed property trust last month failed to refinance A$1.3bn of loans that were used to fund expansion in the US, becoming a casualty of tough credit market conditions arising from the US sub-prime mortgage market.

The company said yesterday that it would consider a range of options to secure its future, including the sale of its entire business, the injection of fresh equity from new and existing investors, and the sale of its Australian and US wholesale funds.