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Hi MoorookamickThe foreign investment regime is what it is. So I...

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    Hi Moorookamick

    The foreign investment regime is what it is. So I agree with your comment that the whole regime is as "good as tits on a bull".

    The truth be known while there are a lot of foreign investment proposals which require the Treasurer's approval, the reality is that there have been only a dozen cases or so that have actually been rejected by the Treasurer of the day since the regulation was introduced in 1975 (ie over the past 44 years). One case was Kidman you mentioned, a highly contentious case was the rejection of Shell's takeover of Woodside in 2001, another case was a Chinese investor seeking to acquire Ausgrid in 2016 and case was last year of a Chinese investor seeking to acquire APA Group (gas pipelines) are a few examples. Interestingly, most of the foreign investment proposals which have been rejected in the last 44 years have been decisions made by the current Government. That said, I imagine that any foreign acquirer (including a Chinese acquirer) seeking to takeover IMA will almost certainly obtain foreign investment approval from the Treasurer as in reality
    it is comparatively small, not, I imagine, politically contentious and is unlikely, I imagine, to raise any concerns around "national interest" (the test used to assess foreign investment cases). On the last point, a small mineral sands project can hardly be considered a "nationally strategic asset" which should remain partly Australian owned by punters like you and me! .

    I think the foreign investment regime should be abolished or at least focused only on big cases (eg agricultural land cases above $200m, mining and non mining cases above $5 billion and leave every thing else unregulated). This is the approach used in Canada for example where only a very small number of foreign investment proposals require government approval whereas in Australia thousands of foreign investments proposals require government approval.

    Thanks for the discussion as I have found it interesting.

 
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