News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: BHP Billiton pays no tax in Singapore deal; Contractors push Atlas Iron rescue plan; and ANZ Bank's Mike Smith says we are obsessed with iron ore.

Lou Caruana

BHP Billiton pays no tax in Singapore deal

BHP Billiton may reveal this month it pays an effective tax rate of zero on billions of dollars of Australian iron ore it sells through Singapore, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Singapore struck the sweetheart tax deal with BHP to attract the mining giant's business, as part of a bid to build the country into one of the world's biggest finance hubs.

The 0% tax rate could go some way to explaining why BHP executives on Friday last week refused to tell a Senate committee how much tax the miner paid in Singapore or how much revenue was transferred there from Australia.

Contractors push Atlas Iron rescue plan

McAleese Group chief executive Mark Rowsthorn is fighting for a rescue package for Atlas Iron after pressing the miner's creditors to keep at least one of its Pilbara iron ore mines open, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Rowsthorn is understood to have held meetings with Atlas Iron's debt holders as well as the miner's other contractors to explore all possible options to keep the iron ore miner from going into receivership or administration and closing down its Pilbara mines, which would throw McAleese into financial jeopardy.

ANZ Bank's Mike Smith says we are obsessed with iron ore

ANZ chief executive Mike Smith has brushed aside fears about the crash in iron ore prices and slowing in China, saying a national obsession with the mineral fails to consider the potential of other sectors, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

While the plunge in iron ore prices has eroded government revenue and national income, Smith on Wednesday said it was “sort of self-inflicted” by miners, as it was caused by them ramping up supply.

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