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Australia's Fairfax halts trade pending Domain announcement

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SYDNEY, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Australian newspaper and radio group Fairfax Media Ltd on Tuesday entered a trading halt pending an announcement related to its real estate advertising arm, Domain Group.

The Australian Financial Review, a newspaper owned by Fairfax, on Monday reported the company was considering a spin-off of Domain into a separate listed vehicle, citing unnamed sources.

Analysts expect Domain to be worth about A$2 billion ($1.54 billion) as a separately listed entity, the newspaper said.

Fairfax, which has a market value of A$2 billion including Domain, is due to report its first half financial results on Wednesday.

Domain reported a 40 percent rise in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBDITDA) to A$120 million in the 12 months ended June 30, making it the company's highest-earning division.

Domain is a similar business to larger listed rival REA Group Ltd, which is controlled by News Corp.

REA Group, which has a market value of A$7.3 billion, on Feb. 10 reported a 13 percent rise in first-half EBITDA to A$200.1 million. ($1 = 1.3016 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)