News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: TIG fundraising draws protest; state pins surplus hopes on gas; and China wary of Abbott’s ‘harder’ foreign policy.

Lou Caruana

TIG fundraising draws protest

Plans by Melbourne-based Tigers Realm Coal to pull in a combined $52.5 million in Russian financing for development of its Amaam project in far-east Russia is being challenged by its biggest private shareholder and director Bruce Gray, according to The Australian.

Gray – a 19.1% TIG shareholder, and founder and former chairman of cancer therapies group Sirtex Medical – has gone to the Takeovers Panel to complain about certain aspects of TIG's planned fundraising for the coking coal project.

It consists of a $16.3 million placement to Russian Direct – a $10 billion development fund set up in 2011 under the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin – and a $36.2 million two-tranche placement of shares to private equity group Baring Vostok.

State pins surplus hopes on gas

Royalties from LNG exports to be manufactured in large plants being built in Gladstone underpin the Newman government's plan to return the budget to surplus in two years, amid otherwise declining revenue, according to The Australian.

The mid-year budget review released yesterday by Treasurer Tim Nicholls shows that Queensland has a marginally better outlook for the current financial year than what was outlined when the budget was brought down in June.

China wary of Abbott’s ‘harder’ foreign policy

The Chinese government is concerned about a shift in Australia’s foreign policy since the election of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and has warned the hardening of attitudes towards Beijing may threaten the recently signed strategic partnership, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Foreign policy experts, security sources, economists and military figures have all noted the cooling of relations since the Coalition came to power in September.

They cite the upgrading of relations with Taiwan, moving closer to Japan and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s intervention in a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.