Westfield Group said today it planned to sell $2.9bn in new securities to institutional investors to repay debt.

Australia’s biggest shopping mall owner also cut its operational segment earnings and distribution forecasts this calendar year for the second time in two weeks to a range of 94 cents to 97 cents, assuming the proceeds from the raising are used solely to repay debt.

Last week, the company gave guidance for this year of 97c-$1.00 a security, reflecting deteriorating retail conditions in many of its key markets, from fiscal 2008's $1.065.

The Australian