News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Australia urged to stay open to foreign resources know-how; mining M&As to spike if price is right; and O’Farrell won’t interfere with ICAC case.

Staff Reporter

Australia urged to stay open to foreign resources know-how

The head of Scotland’s international investment and trade agency has urged Australia to keep welcoming foreign involvement on major resources projects or risk missing out on invaluable knowledge transfer, according to the Australian Financial Review

Scottish Development International chief executive Lena Wilson, who is in Perth for an oil and gas conference, weighed in to the local content debate a day after the Gillard government unveiled a controversial proposal to increase Australian participation on major mining and energy projects.

Mining M&As to spike if price is right

Ernst & Young has found that investors such as sovereign wealth funds will help increase merger activity in Australia’s mining and metals industry this year, even though a gap still exists in the price expectations of buyers and targets, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Non-traditional acquirers – such as private capital funds and state-backed and financial investors – accounted for 31% of the sector’s total global deal value last year, up from 21% in 2011, says an E&Y report.

E&Y said 2012 data suggested a far stronger trend in Australia. Non-traditional acquirers accounted for about 60% of the $US9.4 billion in total inbound Australian deals in mining and metals.

O’Farrell won’t interfere with ICAC case

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has rejected a push by the Labor opposition and the Greens to take steps to stop former Labor figures at the centre of the state’s corruption inquiry from selling assets, according to the Australian Financial Review.

O’Farrell came under renewed pressure yesterday to ask the state’s Crime Commission to apply for an order freezing assets following revelations former Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union national secretary John Maitland was selling his rural property near Kempsey, 345km north of Sydney.

It is being auctioned on March 16, two days before the Independent Commission Against Corruption starts public hearings in an inquiry into the granting of a lucrative coal exploration licence to a company chaired by Maitland.

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