Michael Pascoe writes:

Maybe Macquarie Bank just wants to show that its Chinese walls work. But it does seem a little odd that the Millionaire Factory was advising people to sell their Telstra stock at the start of the year but is now reportedly looking at buying a very large stake in the thing.

The Smage‘s Kate Askew and Lisa Murray had the story on Saturday and again today that MacBank is assessing buying a strategic stake in Sol Trujillo’s plaything direct from the government with a view to working its financial engineering and spin-off magic. No-one from the government, Macquarie or Telstra is confirming or denying anything, which sort of hints that the story has some legs.

It’s rather bemusing that Macquarie was about the only sizeable house locked out of the government’s T3 gravy train but now it seems to be the only party anywhere on earth interested in buying a hunk.

And it’s simply ironic that MacBank’s telco analysts whacked an “underperform” (ie “sell”) recommendation on Telstra just after Macquarie was banned from the T3 process, as we reported in January.

Or could it be that Macquarie is just looking to complete a trifecta of big windmill tilts after the London Stock Exchange and Toll Holdings? The Smage also reports MacInfrastructure isn’t what it used to be.

Peter Fray

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