News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Mining boom not over, says head of Siemens; Mende’s AMCI battles hefty financial claims; and Iluka unfazed by demand slowdown as China's growth dips.

Staff Reporter

Mining boom not over, says head of Siemens

Siemens Australian chief executive Jeff Connolly has doused perceptions the mining boom is over, claiming continued economic growth in China is underpinning demand for resources-related infrastructure such as rail locomotives and signalling equipment, according to the Australian Financial Review.

“I just think it’s nonsense,” Connolly said. “The rate of capital spending [in China] has flattened out, but the absolute demand [for resources] is undeniable.”

Connolly spent three years in China as the German engineering group’s chief financial officer for the country before returning to Australia early last year to head up its local operations.

He said business leaders had a responsibility to not “talk down” the mining boom too much.

Mende’s AMCI battles hefty financial claims

When Hans Mende sold $17 million worth of Whitehaven Coal shares in late August, it was widely viewed as a sign the reclusive resources investor was not confident about the outlook for an already weak coking coal market, according to the Australian Financial Review.

However, there is another potential explanation for the sale. It appears Mende’s private equity group, American Metals & Co International, is battling hefty financial claims on at least two fronts including a $173 million legal action by India’s biggest steelmaker for allegedly failing deliver a 1 million tonne order of coal in 2007.

Exactly how Mende, who lists the Swiss town of Zug as home in corporate filings, will deal with these challenges remains unclear.

Iluka unfazed by demand slowdown as China's growth dips

Iluka chief executive David Robb says there is nothing to fear from China's retreat from double-digit economic growth rates to the more sedate predictions of about 7%.

Being the mathematician that he is, Robb has faith in the numbers.

Those numbers tell him that even at the lower growth rate, China's demand for Australia's commodities is set to continue to grow strongly.

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