Another day, another Aussie GDP downgrade.
From BofA Merrill Lynch: Read more
Canberra formally rejected Singapore Exchange’s A$8.4bn ($8.8bn) bid for its Australian rival, ruling that the takeover could undermine Australia’s position as a financial centre and the stability of its financial system, reports the FT. In a strong statement, Wayne Swan, the country’s Treasurer, on Friday told reporters it was a “no brainer” that SGX’s bid was not in Australia’s national interest and stressed the ASX’s “critically important” clearing and settlement functions. He also revealed that the Reserve Bank of Australia and securities regulator ASIC had opposed the takeover. Swan was widely criticised after indicating on Tuesday that the government was likely to block the takeover. The WSJ warns that the move “risked damaging the country’s appeal to foreign investors”.
“Keep your money mate,” was the way Heard on the Street put it in response to Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan’s decision to effectively block Singapore Exchange’s A$8.4bn ($8.7bn) takeover offer of its local rival ASX.
In a remark that took markets (not to mention the protagonists) by surprise, as he spoke before the end of a standard 30-day review period of the deal, Swan said on Tuesday he was “disposed” to rule the merger was not in the country’s national interest. Read more
The Australian government on Tuesday effectively killed off the Singapore Exchange’s planned A$8.4bn ($8.7bn) takeover of its Australian counterpart after Wayne Swan, the country’s treasurer, said he was “disposed” to reject the deal as not in the national interest, reports the FT. Although Swan stressed his view was preliminary, he startled the market by revealing his position before the end of a standard 30-day review period by the country’s foreign investment regulator. A successful takeover would have created Asia’s second-largest exchange by number of listings, behind the Bombay exchange but ahead of Tokyo and Hong Kong. The Singapore Exchange said it had been invited to provide further comments to Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, but people close to the exchange said Canberra had made its position clear. Perhaps, says Lex, the deal was fantasy in the first place. The WSJ’s Heard column says Swan’s position risks turning foreign investors away from the resource-rich nation.
The Australian government has been forced to shoot down reports it will reject the Singapore Stock Exchange’s near $8.4bn bid for its Australian counterpart, as politicians opposed to the deal stepped up efforts to block the deal, reports the FT. Wayne Swan, the Australian treasurer who will provide an initial ruling on the deal after taking advice from the country’s foreign investment regulator, on Monday insisted no decision had been made. The Singapore bourse’s agreed A$8.4bn ($8.37bn) cash-and-share offer for the Australian Securities Exchange announced last October would create Asia’s second-largest exchange by the number of listings, behind the Bombay Stock Exchange but ahead of exchanges in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
It’s not quite on the level of the Pru’s ill-fated $35.5bn (reduced to $31.38bn) attempt to acquire AIG’s main Asian unit in 2010.
But to anyone who has followed – even in passing – one of the most Byzantine takeover sagas in the insurance world, the vote by shareholders of Axa Asia Pacific Holdings on Wednesday in favour of the $13bn joint bid by Axa APH parent, French insurer Axa, and Australian insurance giant AMP, is definitely a moment. Read more
Australia’s centre-left Labor government has announced an overhaul of banking regulations aimed at boosting competition even as rising mortgage rates fuel a political backlash against the nation’s four big banks, reports the FT. Treasurer Wayne Swan on Sunday unveiled steps to inject a further A$4bn ($3.9bn) into securitisation markets and help smaller financial institutions better compete, among other measures. The move comes amid public anger after the top four banks – CBA, NAB, ANZ and Westpac – recently raised mortgage interest rates beyond increases in the central bank’s cash rate. The cornerstone of the measures require changes to the Banking Act to allow the issuing of covered bonds – on-balance sheet securitisation common in Europe. The WSJ adds that the moves fell short of public expectations of penalties for banks charging excessive interest on loans.
Countries including China should move to market-based exchange rates, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said on Wednesday ahead of a weekend meeting of G20 finance ministers in South Korea, reports the WSJ. The G20 meeting is unlikely to produce definitive outcomes” on the currency battles rattling markets or broader structural issues threatening sustainable global growth, though they will “prepare the ground” for the G20 summit next month in Seoul, Swan said in an interview. As western nations urge Beijing to let its tightly controlled currency appreciate, Swan said the renminbi “is not solely responsible for imbalances in the global economy.”
It is a good job Rio Tinto has a plan B in case its proposed $19.5bn investment with
China Chinalco is blocked.
It may well need it.
Here’s why – a statement from Australia’s Treasurer Wayne Swan, explaining his decision to block a’ $1.7bn bid for miner Oz Minerals from a Chinese metals group called Minmetals. (emphasis ours). Read more