News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: FIRB may block Yancoal privatisation; mining services companies down $12bn as work dries up; and miners nervous of anti-bribery laws.

Staff Reporter

FIRB may block Yancoal privatisation

The Foreign Investment Review Board may block Yanzhou’s attempts to privatise its poorly performing Australian subsidiary, Yancoal, as the giant Chinese coal company attempts to convince local minority shareholders to agree to the deal, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Yanzhou may also face opposition from investors and independent directors over its politically sensitive strategy to change an agreement with the government as part of a $200 million bid to privatise Yancoal Australia.

Yanzhou announced yesterday it wants to unwind foreign ownership restriction on Yancoal as part of scrip bid to buy out minority shareholders, which represent 22% of the company’s equity.

Mining services companies down $12B as work dries up

A total of $12 billion has been wiped from the value of Australian-listed mining services companies in six months as industry expansion work comes off the boil, according to The Australian.

And the shakeout in the sector is expected to continue for at least six months, according to research from financial firm EY.

Miners nervous of anti-bribery laws

Australian mining companies operating in Africa have warned Australia’s political leaders against following Canada in implementing changes to anti-corruption and bribery laws that they believe will make it much harder to do business on the continent, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The Canadian government announced last month it would join Britain by bringing in legislation making facilitation payments – small sums paid to obtain routine government services – illegal and punishable by fines and jail sentences.

But the Australia-Africa Mining Industry Group (AAMIG), which represents more than 100 mining and mining services companies, argues that facilitation payments are an integral part of getting business done in many poor, undeveloped African nations and allowing them promotes transparency.