News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Investors to target BHP over executive pay; Frydenberg is in the hot seat; and AngloGold Ashanti eyes Australian M&A.

Lou Caruana

Investors to target BHP over executive pay

With the BHP Billiton share price under intense pressure from the Samarco Mineracao disaster in Brazil, institutional investors are preparing to target executive pay to boost accountability for safety breaches, as Brazilian prosecutors step up efforts to pursue criminal charges against the mine operators, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Fiona Reynolds, the managing director of Principles for Responsible Investment, an institutional investor group based in London, said the pay and bonuses of BHP Billiton and Vale executives must be slugged following the disaster.

Frydenberg is in the hot seat

Appointed two months ago as federal Resources and Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg has arguably found himself in the middle of a perfect storm, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The industry he is responsible for is facing some of its toughest market conditions for years, investors are deserting the sector in droves and the onshore gas industry has stalled in the two biggest states.

Shortly, global leaders will meet in Paris, where the coal industry will inevitably come in for more damning criticism.

AngloGold Ashanti eyes Australian M&

The world's third-biggest gold miner has revealed it is “keeping a watchful eye” on acquisition opportunities in Australia, after remaining quiet during a recent string of deals within the flourishing gold sector, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

AngloGold Ashanti Australia senior vice-president Mike Erickson said merger and acquisition activity in the Australian gold sector was a “hot topic”, as the significant drop in the local currency more than offset the falling US-dollar gold price.