The Australian

reports that although Foster’s is expected to secure 50.1% of Southcorp
within days, the split on the Southcorp board might frustrate Foster’s
attempts to win over crucial retail investors. The Oz

’s Bryan Frith

says the Foster’s Group is taking a “huge risk” in settling for a split
board recommendation of its takeover bid, as it provides a compelling
“greenmail” opportunity that hedge funds and other opportunist
investors will find impossible to resist.

The Financial Review

reports that Chinese officials have called on Australia to simplify its
business taxes to smooth the way for more foreign investment in major
resource projects. The president of the Chinese National Offshore Oil
Corporation also said there should be more encouragement for foreign
investors and more effort by the Australian government to promote
energy cooperation to a new level.

Writing in the Fin

’s opinion pages, Susan Windybank

, a foreign policy research director at the Centre for Independent
Studies, says Papua New Guineans are paying a high price for their
leader’s bruised ego, as Prime Minister Michael Somare thwarts
Australia’s $800 million co-operation program for the second time. One
of the most pressing problems Somare should be concerned with is the
alarming HIV/AIDS epidemic in PNG, which could reduce the labour force
by a third, “leading to economic and social disaster,” says Windybank.

The Herald Sun

and

The Daily Tele

report that just days after union-backed Industry Funds Management bid
successfully for wind generator Pacific Hydro, a leaked report from the
Victorian government’s powerful Economics, Innovation and Industrial
Development Committee has questioned the cost effectiveness and
variability of wind power, claiming that “wind energy is currently 62%
more expensive than brown coal generated electricity”.

And the Smage’s Stephen Bartholomeusz

says the success of Macquarie Bank’s infrastructure-oriented funds
management strategy and the massive annuity streams it generates is
spawning imitators, but these imitators are also generating some
contentious governance issues.

Peter Fray

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